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Welfare and Employment: A European Dilemma?

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Author Info

  • Eichhorst, Werner

    ()
    (IZA)

  • Hemerijck, Anton

    ()
    (WRR Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy)

Abstract

The majority of the Member States of the European Union have undertaken remarkably comprehensive welfare and labor market reforms in the years since the 1990s. Many of these reforms, however, have not followed the conventional retrenchment and deregulation recipes, but rather took a liking to social pacts, activation, active ageing/avoidance of early retirement, part-time work, lifelong learning, parental leave, gender mainstreaming, flexicurity (balancing flexibility with security), reconciling work and family life. At first sight, these reforms seem to have resulted in relatively robust employment growth, especially for women and more recently older workers. European economic integration has fundamentally recast the boundaries of national systems of employment regulation and social protection, both by constraining the autonomy for domestic policy options but also by opening opportunities for EU-led social and employment coordination and agenda setting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3870.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Jens Alber and Neil Gilbert (eds.), United in Diversity? Comparing Social Models in Europe and America, Oxford: OUP, 2010, 201-236
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3870

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Keywords: welfare states; European integration; labor market reforms;

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Cited by:
  1. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul, 2010. "Whatever Works: Dualisation and the Service Economy in Bismarckian Welfare States," IZA Discussion Papers 5035, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alber, Jens, 2009. "What the European and American welfare states have in common and where they differ: Facts and fiction in comparisons of the European social model and the United States," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2009-203, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Jeroen Horemans & Ive Marx, 2013. "In-work poverty in times of crisis: do part-timers fare worse?," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/14, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  4. Alber, Jens, 2010. "What - if anything - is undermining the European Social Model?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2010-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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