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The Contract of Employment: A Study in Legal Evolution

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  • S. Deakin

Abstract

This paper reconstructs the evolutionary path of the contract of employmentin English law. It demonstrates that the contract of employment is a more recent innovation than widely thought, and that its essential features owe as much to legislation as they do to the common law of contract. The master-servant model of the nineteenth century was only displaced by the modern contract of employment as a result of twentieth century social legislation and collective bargaining. The paper discusses present-day mutations in the legal form of employment in the light of this analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Deakin, 2001. "The Contract of Employment: A Study in Legal Evolution," Working Papers wp203, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp203
    Note: PRO-1
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    File URL: https://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/working-papers/wp203.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    2. repec:ilo:ilowps:486240 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zoe Adams & Simon Deakin, 2014. "Institutional Solutions to Precariousness and Inequality in Labour Markets," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(4), pages 779-809, December.
    4. Zoe Adams & Simon Deakin, 2014. "Institutional Solutions to Precariousness & Inequality in Labour Markets," Working Papers wp463, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    5. Aleksynska, Mariya. & Schmidt, Alexandra., 2014. "A chronology of employment protection legislation in some selected European countries," ILO Working Papers 994862403402676, International Labour Organization.
    6. Cok, Mitja & Domadenik, Polona & Redek, Tjasa & Verbic, Miroslav, 2008. "Labour Market Reforms in the Context of Political Power Theory: The Case of Slovenia," MPRA Paper 25524, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contract of employment; poor law; mater and servant; collective bargaining; welfare state; legal evolution; path dependence;

    JEL classification:

    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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