New website

We have integrated the website for the Ipswich project in the website of HIVA KU Leuven, to further improve accessibility of the research outcomes. Currently the website is only available in Dutch. Most output, however, is in English.

The final report is expected by the end of November 2018.

New website:

Follow-up committee: handouts

Below you can download the handouts of the follow-up committee of 15 mai 2018:

Article in Science Connection

The Ipswich project and some first results are presented in Science Connection n° 53, published by Belspo. The article provides a general overview of the situation of the working poor in Belgium in comparison to the surrounding countries, introduces the sectoral differences in wage inequality, the poverty risks of different worker types, and the inequalities between natives and foreigners. It concludes with a warning: the risk of in-work poverty may very quickly increase when labour market policies undergo fundamental changes, as is often called for.

Dutch (p. 25): “Keert het tij voor werkende armen in België? Benaderingen van het IPSWICH-project.”
French (p. 25): “Assiste-t-on à une inversion de tendance pour les travailleurs pauvres en Belgique? Approches du projet IPSWICH.” 


Publication: Wage discrimination against immigrants: measurement with firm-level productivity data

In this study, Stephan Kampelmann and François Rycx provide an excellent overview of the different sources of discrimination. In one strict definition, discrimination is a different reward for equal productivity. With new estimation methods accounting for firm-level productivity, it is found that the migrant-native wage difference nearly vanishes, while the gender wage difference increases. In a final elaboration, the authors demonstrate that firm-level wage bargaining does reduce discrimination.

The article is published in the IZA Journal of Migration. An open access discussion paper can be downloaded here.

Working paper: Atypical Employment and In-Work Poverty: A Different Story for Part- Timers and Temporary Workers?

In this working paper, Jeroen Horemans explores the differences in poverty risks for part-time workers and temporary workers. EU-SILC data is used to make a revealing international comparison: both types of workers pose different poverty risks in different countries. In Belgium, temporary workers have are most at risk. The risk gap with full-time and permanent workers is then decomposed. Again various patterns appear, but working hours, wage, replacement incomes and the household work intensity are the main channels through which non-standard work translates into in-work poverty.

The paper can be downloaded here.

Discussion Paper: The effect of minimum wage spillovers on wage dispersion in a strongly institutionalized wage bargaining system.

In this (revised) discussion paper, preceding the analysis of minimum wage effects on employment, it is demonstrated that minimum wages correlate positively with wage compression. The paper points to the endogeneity of minimum wages: between-sector effects are very large, implying that minimum wages at the sector level allow fine-tuning of the institutional wage setting mechanisms. This results in decreases of wage inequality which is not artificially created by disemployment of low-wage workers.

The paper can be consulted here.

BSMWI: Belgian Sectoral Minimum Wage Index

In order to examine the effect of minimum wages on wage inequality and the incidence of low pay, the researchers from KU Leuven have composed a data set with minimum wage floors (index 2000) from CBA’s filed at FOD WASO (Department of Work) for 43 joint committees from 2000 onwards. The data can be downloaded here.