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An Analytical Overview of Labour Market Reforms Across the EU: Making Sense of the Variation

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  • Johan Bo Davidsson
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    Abstract

    While there has been an increase in interest in employment protection, for example in the literature on labour market insiders and outsiders, there is a lack of cross-country comparative research on reforms of the employment protection legislation and the regulation of temporary work. This article provides such an overview for a wide set of countries including the EU-15 plus five Central and Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. It makes two contributions: first, it identifies a set of reform types. One major reform type, two-tier reform, and several minor types: deregulation of temporary employment in countries with low levels of job protection for regular work; reregulation in countries with high levels of temporary employment; reregulation in countries with low regulation of temporary work; and across-the-board concurrent deregulation. Second, the article highlights the difference in regulation that exists between fixed-term contracts concluded inside and outside temporary work agencies (TWAs). In identifying reform types, and the difference in the regulation of fixed-term contracts inside and outside TWAs, the article contributes to our understanding of the variation in labour market regulation and reform. In addition, the article points to different explanations for the reforms, in particular the influence of EC directives.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies in its series LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series with number 111.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:111

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    1. Wolfgang Ochel, 2008. "The Political Economy of Two-tier Reforms of Employment Protection in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 2461, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Manfred Antoni & Elke J. Jahn, 2009. "Do Changes in Regulation Affect Employment Duration in Temporary Help Agencies?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 62(2), pages 226-251, January.
    3. Samuel Bentolila & Juan Jose Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, 2008. "Two-tier Employment Protection Reforms: The Spanish Experience," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 6(4), pages 49-56, December.
    4. Torben M. Andersen & Michael Svarer, 2007. "Flexicurity: Labour Market Performance in Denmark," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(3), pages 389-429, September.
    5. Ebbinghaus, Bernhard & Eichhorst, Werner, 2006. "Employment Regulation and Labor Market Policy in Germany, 1991-2005," IZA Discussion Papers 2505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Hall, Peter A. & Soskice, David (ed.), 2001. "Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247752.
    7. Sandrine Cazes & Alena Nesporova, 2004. "Labour markets in transition: balancing flexibility and security in Central and Eastern Europe," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 91(5), pages 23-54.
    8. Hall, Peter A. & Gingerich, Daniel W., 2004. "Varieties of Capitalism and Institutional Complementarities in the Macroeconomy," MPIfG Discussion Paper 04/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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