In the three years that have passed since the first printing, the findings in this book have largely been substantiated. European labour markets and income patterns have kept developing in the ways described here. In fact, employment numbers are not only high, but are higher than they have been for decades in the EU as a whole. In Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria and Poland, they are at record levels. Italy and France are nearing the high levels enjoyed before the 2008 crisis. The US is an exception in the respect that employment rates are recovering but are still far from the levels of twenty years ago. Top-income shares have stayed at historically high levels in many countries and have even risen in countries such as Spain and Finland.
There is an ongoing debate as to whether polarisation and the increasing capital share of income are in fact a result of increasing housing prices, more self-employment or changes in how intellectual property is treated in national accounts, rather than a result of digital technology and off-shoring.
This book has been one of the most popular ELF publications, and the questions it addresses are even more relevant now. This is not a new edition – the analyses and conclusions remain unchanged – but with this reprint, ELF hopes to bring wider audiences into the debate. Nothing is revised in this printing, except this introduction.