Does Lowering Labor Market Standards Create Jobs?
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
- Chair: William Spriggs, Howard University
Varieties of Labour Market Liberalisation in the EU: Causes, Consequences and Implications for the Future
AbstractThe economies of the European Union continue to be affected by the aftermath of the financial crisis that began in 2007/8. In many countries unemployment remains above its pre-crisis level and economic growth is weak. The search for a solution to sluggish economic performance and persistently high unemployment has led European governments to implement labour market reforms, many of which have involved a weakening of employment protection legislation (EPL) and looser constraints on the use of temporary employment contracts. The European Commission has largely supported the liberalisation of EU labour markets, while continuing to emphasise the importance of ‘flexicurity’. The paper has two objectives. The first is to examine the content and consequences of the EPL reforms implemented by EU member states. The second objective is to critically evaluate the EU’s wider labour market policy agenda, particularly its continued emphasis on ‘flexicurity’.
This paper has three objectives. The first is to review developments and assess whether they have led to a convergence in the labour market policies of EU member states. The second objective is to examine labour market performance in the wake of the reforms. The final objective is to explain the changes. This will involve a consideration of policy ideas, structural constraints and the interests of national, supranational and international actors. It will also involve an engagement with recent comparative analyses of institutional change and liberalisation, in particular Thelen (2014).
New Work Assessing the Efficacy of the OECD Employment Protection Index: An Overview
AbstractThis is review of a new body of several studies commissioned to evaluate the "structural reforms" recommended for European countries by the European Commission and the European Central Bank in response to the Great Recession. These reforms were a set of supply side recommendations to lower labor costs to lead to the expansion of output and increases in employment. This expands on previous research evaluating labor reforms in Italy and Spain. The 12 country comparison confirms the earlier findings for Italy and Spain, that the reforms are more successful at increasing the casualization of work and increasing in-work poverty than increasing living standards.
Crisis, Adjustment and Resilience in the Greek Labour Market: An Unemployment Decomposition Approach
AbstractThe crisis in Greece led to one of the largest economic shocks in European history, with unemployment increasing three-fold within the space of four years and remaining persistently high to date. In this paper we seek to identify how the Greek labour market responded to the fiscal and policy shock of the crisis, comparing also between the adjustment in the country's metropolitan core (Athens) and that in the rest of the country. To do so, we draw on data from the Greek Labour Force Survey and utilise standard micro-econometric techniques to measure the size of the shock exerted on the Greek labour market and the quantitative and other adjustments in response to this shock. We find that in the most dynamic parts of the country adjustment in the extensive margin (unemployment) has been moderated by qualitative adjustments in the economy, concerning mainly a much intensified sorting on the basis of education. Our overall results, however, show that adjustment nationally / outside Athens has been partial and limited, in terms of both labour quality (sorting, selection) and labour quantity (migration); while the role of education and skills for labour market adjustment was much more limited outside the capital. We discuss the implications of these findings for future policy-making in the country, and perhaps in similar economies of the "Eurozone south".
- J8 - Labor Standards: National and International