A large body of studies has documented the changing wage structure and increasing inequalities that in the last decades have characterised many OECD countries. The importance of these topics has been addressed by the workshop on ‘Comparing Inequalities’ organised by the Italian Association for Comparative Economic Studies (AISSEC), and held in Assisi in June 2010. One session of the workshop was devoted to “Labour Market Institutions and Wage Inequalities: a Comparative Perspective”. This special issue, which includes a selection of papers that were originally presented at the workshop, offers contributions which can be helpful to obtain an enriched view of ongoing changes and a broader spectrum of plausible explanations. In this paper a short appraisal of the large economic literature on wage inequality and institutions is offered with the main aim to clarify how the papers collected in this symposium contribute to related literature and in which directions they move.
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