By altering workplace power relationships and employers’ incentives, minimum wage laws help ensure social equality

Egalitarian liberals have long been sceptical about a minimum wage, arguing that taxation and transfer programs are better at ensuring distributive justice. But even if we accept the claim that the minimum wage increases unemployment, there are grounds for the minimum wage on the basis of justice. Brishen Rogers argues that it helps reduce work-based class and status divisions. Labour […]

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Southern Europe should consider an economic ‘third way’ to tackle unemployment and inequality

Several countries across Europe have experienced persistent problems with unemployment since the start of the financial crisis. Alexandre Afonso writes that southern European countries are faced with a choice between adopting either Anglo-Saxon style market liberalisation or Nordic style welfare spending as part of their response to the problem. Seeing neither as a feasible option, he proposes an alternative strategy […]

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Trade unions’ collective bargaining efforts have serious implications for social and economic equality in European countries

The role of trade unions in promoting social justice has been challenged by rising social and economic inequality in several European countries. Angie Gago writes that while levels of inequality vary from country to country, the general rise in inequality experienced across Europe is associated with a change in the redistributive character of trade unions’ collective bargaining. She argues that […]

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National identity is an ineffective tool for building public support for wealth redistribution among diverse populations

Providing the resources of the welfare state to increasingly diverse populations has been a controversial issue in several European countries, notably in the UK where the government has advocated restricting EU immigrants’ access to the benefits system. Matthew Wright and Tim Reeskens analyse the effectiveness of national identity as a tool to promote social cohesion in Europe. They argue that […]

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Negative portrayals of welfare recipients in the UK press are in contrast to the positive stories which dominate Swedish and Danish mass media

Portrayals of welfare recipients in the mass media have the potential to influence the way in which audiences think about them. Christian Albrekt Larsen uses a large sample of newspaper articles from the UK, Denmark and Sweden to analyse the positive and negative portrayals of the poor and welfare recipients in the press. He argues that the level of poverty […]

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We live in a world where social class is strongly inherited

Findings from a recent study by Neil Cummins and a colleague suggest that social mobility in modern day England is little greater than in pre-industrial times. Using surnames, they show that intergenerational correlation in status is close to .85, meaning that the progeny of the rich and poor will take over 20 generations, or 600 years, to converge to the […]

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