Structural reforms in Europe and the (in)coherence of institutions
The aim of this article is to analyse the consequences of some structural reforms on the institutional coherence of OECD countries, particularly Continental Europe, and on their economic performance, particularly employment. Because institutions in developed political economies are interrelated through a complex network of complementarities, institutional change has consequences beyond the area concerned by a reform. This also implies that there are complementarity effects in reforms themselves. A challenge of reform programs is therefore to achieve a new type of complementarities between reformed institutions. The paper presents empirical evidence questioning the compatibility of the ongoing structural reforms in product and labour markets with the existing institutional structures in some OECD countries. The coherence of the flexicurity strategy, i.e. a combination of labour market flexibility and generous welfare state, is also questioned, both from economic efficiency and political economy points of view.
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