Global Labour History (IISH)

How to explain the ups and downs in social inequality from a global perspective? We try to answer this question by studying the different conditions under which workers (from high to low) are remunerated. The working hypothesis is that shifts in labor relations, embedded in larger societal structures, can help us to understand changes in long term patterns of social inequality, both within and between world regions.

In order to answer these questions, the IISH works in close collaboration with  researchers in other continents to gather and analyse data about social and economic changes all over the world since 1500. This concerns labour relations, individual life cycles, survival strategies, migrations, and collective actions, as well as time series of wages, prices, monetization, productivity, gender relations, life expectancies, and literacy.

The work and labour relations perspective is essential to find out how inequality comes about and is perpetuated, within and between societies. Through this research, the Institute aims to contribute to current social discussions about social inequality, economic growth, the environment, globalization, migration, and democracy.


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Partner IISG Partner Meertens Instituut Partner Huygens ING