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Employment and sustainable development: education, training and R&D in the regulation of the labour market


  • Ilona Kovács
  • Margarida Chagas Lopes


Sustainable development has been considered in various discourses as the answer to the economic, social and ecological crisis. However, its principles are far from being implemented. The dominant model of society giving priority to financial capital and short term profitability in the context of globalization and market deregulation involves social disinvestment, increasing inequalities and exclusion, that is to say non sustainable development. We argue that sustainable development requires an orientation towards human needs, social and ecological sustainability and consequently a break with the prevailing model of society and learning and knowledge sharing within modern societies. In the first section we confront the “market driven work society”, which is embedded in the neo-liberal paradigm with the alternative model of the “humanized work society”, which aims to dignify work, enhance quality of working life and skills development. The next sections focus on long trend and new forms of labour market regulation and the role successively played by Education, Vocational Training and – desirably – Innovation in that regulation process . We stress that sustainable development imply an effective upgrading of work and skills, requiring adequate structural education, training and R&D policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ilona Kovács & Margarida Chagas Lopes, 2010. "Employment and sustainable development: education, training and R&D in the regulation of the labour market," Working Papers wp092010, SOCIUS, Research Centre in Economic and Organisational Sociology at the School of Economics and Management (ISEG) of the University of Lisbon.
  • Handle: RePEc:soc:wpaper:wp092010

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    1. repec:eee:labchp:v:1:y:1986:i:c:p:525-602 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 1999. "Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme," Post-Print hal-00680085, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Beata Bieszk-Stolorz & Krzysztof Dmytrów, 2020. "Influence of Accession of the Visegrad Group Countries to the EU on the Situation in Their Labour Markets," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(16), pages 1-16, August.
    2. Chagas Lopes, Margarida, 2016. "The Dynamics of Knowledge in Portugal - The Role Played by Public Institutions," MPRA Paper 80171, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand


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