Kick off meeting – The puzzle

The very first meeting of researchers took place on 03 April 2018 to kick off the ENTIRE View project at Durham University Business School. Hosted by Bernd Brandl and Barbara Bechter, we welcomed Alex Lehr from Radboud University, Oscar Molina from Autonomous University of Barcelona and Domink Owczarek from the Institute of Public Affairs (Warsaw).

Prof Brandl spoke of the inspiration behind this research project, highlighting the complex nature of wage developments within the European Union and the ‘chaotic’ nature of different actors being embedded in very different environments (e.g. countries, sectors, companies) are determining wages. The analysis of wage developments becomes challenging given that in a transnational economy (like the European Common Market) actors’ outcomes influence others, and vice-versa. This project therefore tries to disentangle this complex picture.

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So how to disentangle this complex web of wage formation? The project aims to focus on the behaviour of actors by analysing the role of different wage setting criteria they are using, which includes an investigation of the interdependent factors of different actors for wage setting and the identification of the relevance and size of ‘networks’ between wage setting units within and across countries. This will then help to explain clusters in the development of countries. Institutional factors also matter as actors are embedded into different ‘environments’ and are exposed or inhibited to different factors that influence their behaviour.

This project therefore will recruit an international team of researchers and experts to conduct an investigation into all European Union member states to identify and map clusters of countries with similar wage developments and characteristics of the industrial relations systems, highlighting how these industrial relations networks are interconnected within the EU and developing a database in which all data and information is made available for further research and policy making.

20180403_161919Pictured: Bernd Brandl, Oscar Molina, Alex Lehr, Barbara Bechter, Dominik Owczarek

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