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date: 06 December 2019

(p. v) Preface

(p. v) Preface

This Handbook provides an excellent illustration of the value of networking in scientific research. First, although many of the authors had never met before, they enthusiastically agreed to work together, and accepted the discipline of producing and linking their results according to the agreed division of labor. The editors are very grateful indeed to the authors for their excellent cooperation, for the spirit in which they engaged in the enterprise, and for their hard work. We are confident our readers will agree.

Second, the volume is the culmination of twelve and a half years of activity by the European Low-Wage Employment Research network, LoWER and reflects the cooperation of the EQUALSOC Network of Excellence for this purpose. Since 1996 the LoWER network has profited from the financial support of the European Union's research programs (4th, 5th and 6th Framework Programmes) while EQUALSOC was established in 2005, also with EU support. Without this support it would not have been possible to bring the authors together for an extremely stimulating weeklong conference where the draft chapters could be discussed and the division of labor and papers refined. The editors are grateful to the European Commission for its stimulus and support. They are also grateful to the members of both networks who were willing to contribute time, money and graduate students!

We also thank the Luxembourg Income Study and the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF), each of whom provided facilities where we could productively meet as an editorial team. Also at RSF, Eric Wanner made it possible for us all to benefit from a special one-day seminar on four of the chapters for the book.

Third, drawing on these and other networks, four leading scholars in the field, Tony Atkinson, Susan Mayer, Stephen Nickell, and Eugene Smolensky, were willing to comment on the draft chapters and give their views on the project as a whole. The editors are very grateful for their participation in the conference and the help they provided so generously, enthusiastically, and without hesitation. This produced some wonderfully heated discussions and a much better understanding of views on inequality research on both sides of the Atlantic.

Last and certainly not least, the ‘technical’ partners in the project deserve recognition and the editors' thanks. Oxford University Press, particularly its economics publisher, Sarah Caro, were supportive of the project from the very start—thus helping to establish the virtuous circle needed for its success—and OUP willingly contributed to the funding of the above-mentioned conference. Chris Champion (p. vi) at the Press helped with the website, which was very helpful for communication between the authors. Angelique Lieberton, office manager of the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies, provided important organizational support and good cheer.

Before handing it over to the reader, we would like to dedicate the Handbook to the memory of Andrew Glyn of Oxford University. Andrew was a very good and extremely kind friend and active member of the LoWER network. Sadly, the first symptoms of the illness that was to take away his life manifested themselves during the above conference. More importantly, Andrew, who happened to be born at the high end of the income distribution, himself, was exemplary to many in his dedication to reducing inequality and his own honest and straightforward lifestyle fully matched that ideal. We consider ourselves lucky indeed to have benefited from his contribution.

All in all, it took us three years to get here, but the product of outstanding cooperation is, we trust, a book of which all those involved can be proud.

Wiemer Salverda, Brian Nolan, and Tim Smeeding