ILO Newsroom – April 18, 2013

This story was written by the ILO Newsroom

Wage Trends

Are wages around the world converging?

As the world’s emerging economies change the dynamics of the global economy, Philippe Egger, Director of the ILO Bureau of Programming and Management, explores the challenges of comparing wages across countries.  

Comment | 18 April 2013

Unlike several other disciplines, economics is far from being an exact science. It is often hard to find clear answers about basic economic facts and trends.

Take wages, for instance. Half of all employed people rely on wages for a living. These wages tend to reflect the combined efficiency of capital, labour and technology in any given country. So it is important to know whether economies are leading to better wages for the large majority, especially in a highly interconnected global economy.   The ILO recently published a report showing that in the last decade, real wages – adjusted to reflect purchasing power – had doubled in Asia, almost tripled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and increased by 15 per cent in Latin America. That compares with a rise of just five per cent in developed economies. These trends confirmed what we already know about the direction of the current changing regional dynamics, but do they tell us the extent to which wages around the world are converging?  To read the full story and see comparison wage graphs click hereYou will be redirected to the ILO website