I'm currently a Research Professor at ARENA at the University of Oslo, Norway and a JFK Memorial Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. I am also an affiliated Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo.
My research interests include labor mobility in the EU, gender and work and the future of work. My work has been published in academic journals such as Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, Journal of Common Market Studies, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Socio-Economic Review, European Journal of Industrial Relations and other outlets. My book Workers Without Borders: Posted Work and Precarity in the EU has been published with Cornell University Press in 2018.
I have held fellowships at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins in Washington, DC, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, the European University Institute in Florence and the Economic and Social Research Institute in Düsseldorf. Previously, I worked at the University of Duisburg-Essen. I have a double PhD in Global Economics and Management from the University of Groningen and Political Science from the University of Jyväskylä. I have a Master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor in European Studies from the University of Maastricht. I am a Reviews Editor of the 'Work, Employment and Organizations' section in Frontiers of Sociology, expert of the transnational partnership program of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University, member of the Gender Equality and Public Policy Research Network, Expert of the European Commission Mutual Learning Program in Gender Equality, and alumna of the Global Young Faculty IV of the Mercator Foundation.
International collaborative and ongoing research project.
Funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
The shipbuilding industry is often portrayed as the archetype of economic globalization. Faced with fierce global competition, especially from Asian producers, shipbuilding in Europe was believed to be a ‘sunset industry’. However, the 2004-2007 EU enlargements altered the choices set for shipyard employers. Companies in Northern European shipyards not only outsourced parts of their production to countries such as Poland and Romania, they also increasingly used (external) posted and agency labour in their ‘in-house’ production prompting labour market segmentation and more precarious types of contracts.More recently, rapid technological innovation and stricter emission requirements open up – once again – for new production and staffing strategies that might spur demand for more skilled labour. Yet, so far, we know little about the determinants and interactions between increases in cross-border production and staffing strategies in an enlarged European Single Market. Knowledge on the interaction between these processes is important because changes in staffing strategies not only change the terms under which workers are employed – be it via temporary agencies, subcontractors or via posted worker contracts – they also inherently destabilize nationally based industrial relations’ systems.
PI: Ines Wagner
Book published with Cornell University Press.
This project reported on interviews with and participant observation of posted workers regarding how they experience the posting relationship, the mechanisms that enable access or denial to their rights, their ability to voice concerns over exploitative practices, and their interactions with institutions who should in theory enforce their rights.
The gendered labor market is considered a main cause of the gender pay gap, yet current research and policy has not examined the relation of the gender pay gap to the way sectoral wages are set. Norway is an interesting case because its wage-setting model and gender equality are highly esteemed globally. However, although the wage-setting system in Norway creates an overall more egalitarian wage structure than other advanced industrial countries, it has a built-in gendered inequality that is not part of its current discussion on resolving the gender pay gap. We introduce egalitarian inequality to conceptualize this. The research examines the presentation of the gender pay gap in relation to the gendered labor market, and how the pattern bargaining model is presented as both a solution and a hindrance, and which discourse dominates. The findings reveal a dual commitment of upholding both pattern bargaining and gender equality but hardly any willingness to adjust the pattern bargaining model to combat the gender pay gap. A clear hierarchy is expressed in which gender equality is subordinate to pattern bargaining.
Ines Wagner & Mari Teigen (2021). Egalitarian inequality: Gender equality and pattern bargaining. Gender, Work & Organization, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12774
Job evaluation systems have a history of being critiqued as upholding gender inequality. Paradoxically, however, the Icelandic Equal Pay Standard (IEPS), a novel and publicly praised gender equality policy, is based on a job evaluation tool. The aim of this article is to stipulate an initial analysis of how key stakeholders in the Icelandic context view and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the IEPS so far. Drawing on organizational literature and feminist institutionalism, the findings show how equal pay for work of equal value can be achieved. At the same time, the research highlights the need for more emphasis on and awareness of the value of feminized work within organizations, which remains underrecognized in the IEPS.
Ines Wagner, 2022, Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value? Iceland and the Equal Pay Standard, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, Volume 29, Issue 2, Pages 477–496, https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxaa032
The impact of technological change on employment, inequality and job quality has attracted considerable analysis from both scholars and practitioners. However, less attention has been paid to how digital technologies are changing contemporary workplaces and how workers are responding to these changes. This article reviews recent research from the multidisciplinary comparative employment relations field, with a focus on institutional resilience or change associated with digitalization; and the strategic responses of unions and other worker representatives to these trends. We find that the insights of economists, sociologists and employment relations scholars are complementary, as each addresses a different dimension of technological change and associated worker outcomes. Comparative employment relations researchers are more likely to influence current debates where they both articulate the unique contribution of their multi-method and comparative research methods and aggregate findings beyond single or paired industry and national case studies.
Virginia Doellgast & Ines Wagner (2022). Collective regulation and the future of work in the digital economy: Insights from comparative employment relations. Journal of Industrial Relations, 64(3), 438–460. https://doi.org/10.1177/00221856221101165
Ines Wagner 2018. Workers Without Borders: Posted Work and Precarity in the EU. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Reviewed by Stephen Vallas in Social Forces
Reviewed by Virginia Doellgast in Work & Occupations
Reviewed by Caterina Francesca Guidi in Journal of Common Market Studies
Reviewed by Markus Helfen in ILR Review
Doellgast, V., Wagner, I., & O’Brady, S. (2023). Negotiating limits on algorithmic management in digitalised services: cases from Germany and Norway. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 29(1), 105–120.
Ines Wagner. 2020. Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value: Iceland and the Equal Pay Standard. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society.
Martin Seeliger and Ines Wagner. 2018. "A socialization paradox: trade union policy cooperation in the case of the enforcement directive of the posting of workers directive". Socio-Economic Review.
Ines Wagner and Bjarke Refslund. 2016. “Understanding the Converging Trajectories of German and Danish Labour Politics: a Power Relations Approach”. European Journal of Industrial Relations 22 (4): 335-351.
Ines Wagner and Lisa Berntsen. 2016. “Restricted Rights: Obstacles in Enforcing Labour Rights of EU Mobile Workers in the German and Dutch Construction sectors”. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research 22(2): 193-206.
Ines Wagner. 2015. “Rule Enactment in a Pan-European Labour Market: Transnational Posted Work in the German Construction Sector”. British Journal of Industrial Relations 53 (4): 692-170.
Ines Wagner. 2015."The Political Economy of Borders in a ‘Borderless’ European Labour Market". Journal of Common Market Studies 53 (6): 1195-1408.
Ines Wagner. 2015. EU "Posted Work and Transnational Action in the German Meat Industry". Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research 21 (2): 201-213.
Ines Wagner and Nathan Lillie. 2014. "European Integration and the Disembedding of Labour Market Regulation: Transnational Labour Relations at the European Central Bank Construction Site.“ Journal of Common Market Studies 52(2): 403-419.
Erka Caro, Lisa Berntsen, Nathan Lillie and Ines Wagner. 2015.” Posted Migration and Segregation in the European Construction Sector.“ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41 (10): 1600-1620.
Ines Wagner and Karen Shire. 2019. "Labour Subcontracting in Cross-Border Labour Markets: A Comparison of Rule Evasion in Germany and Japan" in Jens Arnholtz and Nathan Lillie (eds.) Posted Work in the European Union: The Political Economy of Free Movement. Routledge.
Nathan Lillie, Lisa Berntsen, Ines Wagner and Sonila Danaj. 2019. "A comparative analysis of union responses to posted work in four European countries" in in Jens Arnholtz and Nathan Lillie (eds.) Posted Work in the European Union: The Political Economy of Free Movement. Routledge.
Bjarke Refslund and Ines Wagner. 2018. “Cutting to the Bone: Worker’s solidarity in the Danish-German slaughterhouse industry” in Doellgast, Virginia, Lillie, Nathan and Puglinani, Valeria (eds.) Restructuring Solidarity: Labour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe. Oxford University Press
Ines Wagner. 2018. “Trade Unions and migrant workers in Germany Unions between national and transnational Labour market segmentation” in Marino, Stefania, Penninx, Rinus and Roosblad Judith (eds.) Trade Unions and Migrant Workers: New Contexts and Challenges in Europe. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Nathan Lillie and Ines Wagner. 2017. “Practicing European Industrial Citizenship: The Case of Labour Migration to Germany,” in Wiesner, Claudia, Bjork, Anna, Kivisto, Hanna-Mari, Makinen, Katja (eds.) Shaping Citizenship: A Political Concept in Theory, Debate and Practice. Routledge.
Nathan Lillie and Ines Wagner. 2015. “Subcontracting, Insecurity and Posted Work” in Drahokoupil, Jan (ed.) Ousourcing Across Borders: Working Conditions an Organizing Strategies in Highly Fragmened Production Networks. Brussels: European Trade Union Institute.
Nathan Lillie, Ines Wagner and Lisa Berntsen. 2014. “Posted Migration, Spaces of Exception and the Politics of Labour Relations in the European Cnstruction Industry” in Hauptmeier, Marco, Vidal, Matt (eds.) The Comparative Political Economy of Work and Employment Relations: 312-331. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nathan Lillie, Erka Caro, Lisa Berntsen and Ines Wagner. 2013. “Migration and Mobility: Employment Relations and the Global Mobile Workforce” in Miguel Martinez-Lucio (ed.) International Human Resource Management: An Employment Relations Perspective: 220-238. London: SAGE.
Ines Wagner and Nathan Lillie (2013) Institutionalismus und räumliche Desintegration in der vergleichenden Kapitalismusforschung: Arbeitsbeziehungen auf der Baustelle der Europäischen Zentralbank“ in Bruff, I., Ebenau, M., May, C. and Nölke, A. (eds.) Vergleichende Kapitalismusforschung: Stand, Perspektiven, Kritik , pp. 133-136. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.
“Labour and Transnational Action in Times of Crisis“ Edited by Andreas Bieler, Roland Erne, Darragh Golden, Idar Helle, Knut Kjeldstadli, Tiago Matos and Sabina Stan, Rowman and Littlefield, 2015, ILR Review 70 (1): 261-261, 2017.
“Migrants at Work: Immigration and Vulnerability in Labour Law” Edited by Cathryn Costello and Mark Freedland, Oxford University Press, 2015. British Journal of Industrial Relations 54 (4): 883-884, 2016.
“Town Twinning, Transnational Connections, and Trans-Local Citizenship Practices in Europe“ by Langenohl, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Journal of Common Market Studies 54 (4): 1042, 2016.
“EU Labour Migration in Troubled Times” by Galgoczi, B. Leschke, J. and Watt, A. (eds.). Journal of Common Market Studies 51 (5) p. 987, 2013.
“Global Restructuring, Labour and the Challenges for Transnational Solidarity” by Bieler, A, and Lindberg, I. (eds.). British Journal of Industrial Relations 50 (2) pp. 378-380, 2012.
Ines Wagner. 2017. Changing rules, changing practices? The case of the German meat industry. Report for the project “Protecting Mobility through Improving Labour Rights Enforcement in Europe (PROMO)”, VS/2016/0222. “EaSI” (2014-2020).
Karen Jaehrling, Claudia Weinkopf and Ines Wagner (with Gerhard Bosch and Thorsten Kalina) 2016. Reducing Precarious Work in Europe through Social Dialogue: the Case of Germany, Report for the European Commission, Institute of Work, Skills and Training, University of Duisburg-Essen, pp.129.
Ines Wagner (2015) “Die Umsetzung des Minimumloon in den Niederlanden” in Schulten, T. and Böhlke, N. (Hrs.) Umsetzung und Kontrolle von Mindestlöhnen: Europäische Erfahrungen und was Deutschland von ihnen lernen kann, study for Gesellschaft für Innovationsforschung und Beratung.
Ines Wagner (2015) “The Enforcement Directive of the Posting of Workers Directive”. Study for the Multicultural Center Prague.
Ines Wagner. 2021. How Iceland is Closing the Gender Wage Gap. Harvard Business Review January 08 2021.
The Icelandic Secret, November 8th 2020, Les Glorieuses.
Ines Wagner. 2019. Why freedom of movement is causing divisions - across Europe. The guardian. 16 January 2019.