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Uncertainty, Flexibility Gap and Labour Demand in the Italian Economy

  • Marcello Signorelli

In this paper we analyse the effects of changes in the degree of uncertainty of the economic system and in the "flexibility gap", deriving from the combined evolution of the degrees of uncertainty and flexibility of the economic system (in particular, labour market flexibility), on regular and irregular labour demand. On the basis of a simple qualitative model, we give a partial interpretation of some stylized facts of the Italian economy during the last decades. We argue that the low uncertainty and flexibility gap in the 1950s and 1960s, their remarkable increases in the 1970s, their inadequate reduction in the 1980s and the new increase of uncertainty and flexibility gap in the first half of the 1990s, have had a considerable influence on the quantity and quality of the "investment in employment" of Italian economy. The higher degree of uncertainty and the inadequate degree of flexibility of the Italian economic system are likely to have contributed towards the lower regular employment rate, compared to the main industrialized countries, and to high irregular employment. An adequate economic policy for reducing the uncertainty of the economic system together with a structural economic policy for increasing the flexibility of the economic system (in particular, an active labour policy for increasing the flexibility of the labour market), would be likely to produce positive effects on the quantity and quality of labour demand, contributing towards reducing unemployment. Copyright Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1997.

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Article provided by CEIS in its journal Labour.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (04)
Pages: 141-175

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:11:y:1997:i:1:p:141-175
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