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The end of work or work without end? The role of voters' beliefs in shaping policies of early exit

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  • Kemmerling, Achim

Abstract

The rise and fall of policies regulating early exit from labour markets remains enigmatic for comparative politics. Most explanations focus on structural or institutional causes. A missing source of national variation, this discussion paper argues, lies in cross-country differences in voters' attitude. Whereas in some European countries voters would not think that there is a trade-off between the employment of older and younger workers, in others this is a dominant paradigm. I describe these differences in opinion, as well as their potential and limits for explaining reform in this policy area. A multi-level analysis of Eurobarometer data shows that low employment rates and high levels of labour market regulation lead more people to believe in such a trade-off. This belief is rather the result of voters' perceptions of how labour markets work than the result of their personal situation.

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  • Kemmerling, Achim, 2007. "The end of work or work without end? The role of voters' beliefs in shaping policies of early exit," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2007-108, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzblpe:spi2007108
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