Wage inequality and collective bargaining

The income and wage distribution in Switzerland has been quite stable in recent decades, with the exception of accelerated growth among the very highest incomes. The Swiss experience differs sharply from most other Western economies, where inequality has increased rapidly. This subproject studies how Switzerland was able to maintain a relatively steady level of inequality despite forces like automation and immigration that are thought to erode wages in lower- and middle-income jobs. It focuses on the role of collective wage bargaining agreements in stabilizing the income distribution. By setting minimum wage standards within sectors for various types of workers, such agreements may have induced the Swiss economy to distribute the economic gains from technological progress and globalization more evenly between workers.

Prof. Dina Pomeranz, Department of Economics

Prof. Dina Pomeranz
Project Leader
Department of Economics

Data used

Data on the minimum wages as defined in the different collective wage bargaining agreements.
The data set is not yet complete as it requires a substantive effort in terms of coding the available agreements and furthermore, not all agreements are publicly available. The research team is in contact with the SECO to get access to all collective wage bargaining agreements.

Data not yet available.

For further information about the project and data please contact: deborah.kistler@uzh.ch