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Wage developments in south-east Europe and the influence of economic policy

Bruno S. Sergi, Enisa Salimović, Sanja Paunović and Rajko Kosanović

SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe, 2019, vol. 22, issue 2, 189-216

Abstract: This article analyses economic development in five western Balkan countries - Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Montenegro; North Macedonia; and Serbia - between 2008 and 2018. Data on the status of the economy and on the situation of wages were provided for the study by trade union economic experts from each of the countries in the region and based on a questionnaire, for which the data was collected in December 2018 and then supplemented by the authors during 2019. In most western Balkan countries, the economic situation may be characterised, among others, by low salaries and low purchasing power, a high unemployment rate, plenty of corruption, a considerably-sized grey economy, a low GDP growth rate, massive participation of public and foreign debt in GDP, the widespread phenomenon of the non-payment of taxes and contributions, low economic competitiveness, sizable inequalities in pay between men and women, a high poverty rate and other social disparities. The authors conclude that, in such circumstances, the need for an effective worker voice, and for true social dialogue, remains as important as ever.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.5771/1435-2869-2019-2-189

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