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Working Poor: “Inequitable” Wages in Germany and in Europe! — (Higher) Minimum Wages as an Instrument of Justice?

  • Claus Schäfer
Conference paper
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)

Abstract

The subject of this survey is the “working poor” phenomena. We address workers who hold a job but receive wages so low that their income is insufficient to make ends meet. We adduce them as “working poor”. There is a marked difference between our approach, which focuses on individuals, and conventional poverty research, which is based on families. Extreme cases aside, it is evident that individual poverty is qualitatively less severe than the type of poverty which afflicts unemployed people and their families. Therefore, the recently revived European discussion pertaining to the poverty issue refers to “inadequate” or “inequitable” wages in order to distinguish between “working poor” and conventional poverty. These terms indicate that the poverty of the working poor is a relative concept and that “inequitable” wages are seen in relation to “equitable”, “ordinary”, or “sufficient” wages1. This should be taken into consideration when these terms are used throughout this paper without quotation marks.

Keywords

Minimum Wage Trade Union Collective Bargaining Unemployment Benefit Collective Agreement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claus Schäfer

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