Advertisement

Labour Market Flexibility in the European Union

  • Robert M. Lindley

Abstract

Labour market flexibility attracted considerable attention in Europe during the 1980s, marked especially by the inevitable contribution to the debate produced by the OECD (1986) and efforts by certain governments, notably that of the UK, to put theory into practice. It was not, however, the case that injunctions to flexible behaviour were being uttered for the first time, nor that the evidence of inflexibility was particularly new. Periodically since the Second World War, industrialists and government ministers had turned to problems of ‘irrational’ wage bargaining and restrictive working practices, inadequate occupational mobility, and geographical inertia amongst the labour force. Undue trade union power, lack of investment in vocational education and training, and a distorted housing market were regularly identified, respectively, as key contributors to these three forms of market failure. Likewise, social scientists such as economic historians, labour economists and industrial relations researchers, were certainly not unfamiliar with the enormous divergences between theory and reality when it came to dealing with labour markets.

Keywords

Labour Market Collective Bargaining European Union Country Labour Market Condition European Union Member State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderton, R., Barrell, R., in’t Veld, J. and Pittis, N. (1992), ‘Nominal convergence in European wage behaviour: achievements and explanations’, in Barrell, R. (ed), Economic Convergence and Monetary Union in Europe. London, Sage, pp. 31–57.Google Scholar
  2. Beatson, M. (1995) Labour Market Flexibility, Research Strategy Branch, Research Series, 48, Sheffield, Employment Department.Google Scholar
  3. CEC (1986) European Economy, (‘Employment problems: views of businessmen and the workforce’/ ‘COMPACT: A prototype macroeconomic model of the European Community in the World Economy’, 27, March), Brussels, CEC.Google Scholar
  4. CEC (1988) Le Travail au Noir, DGV V/1781/88, Brussels, Commission of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  5. CEC (1991) European Economy (‘Developments on the labour market in the Community’ /‘Quest’, 47, March), Brussels, Commission of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  6. CEC (1994a) Tableau de Bord, Brussels, DGV Employment Observatory, Commission of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  7. CEC (1994b) Employment in Europe — 1994, Brussels, DGV, Commission of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  8. CE (1995). An Energy-Environment-Economy Model for Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge Econometrics.Google Scholar
  9. Chan-Lee, J., Coe, D. and Prywes, M. (1987) ‘Microeconomic changes and macroeconomic wages disinflation in the 1980s’, OECD Economic Studies, vol. 8, pp. 121–57.Google Scholar
  10. Department of Trade and Industry (1987). Toward Investment in the UK: A Market Report, London, HMSO.Google Scholar
  11. Elmeskov, J. and MacFarlan, M. (1993) ‘Unemployment persistence’, OECD Economic Studies, 21 (Winter), pp. 59–88.Google Scholar
  12. Elmeskov, J. and Pichelmann, K. (1993) ‘Interpreting unemployment: the role of labour-force participation’, OECD Economic Studies, 21 (Winter), pp. 139–60.Google Scholar
  13. Emerson, M. (1988) ‘Regulation or deregulation of the labour market: Policy regimes for the recruitment and dismissal of employees in the industrialised countries’, European Economic Review, 32, pp. 775–817, Amsterdam, North-Holland.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grubb, D. and Wells, W. (1993) ‘Employment regulation and patterns of work in EC countries’, OECD Economic Studies, 21 (Winter), pp. 7–56.Google Scholar
  15. Hart, R. (1987) Working Time and Employment, London, Allen … Unwin.Google Scholar
  16. Hofmann, H. (1995) Long Term Labour Force Scenarios for the European Union, final report of scenarios prepared for the Statistical Office of the European Union, Munich, Ifo.Google Scholar
  17. ILO (1995) World Employment 1995, Geneva, ILO.Google Scholar
  18. IOE (International Organisation of Employers) (1985) Adapting the Labour Market, Geneva, IOE.Google Scholar
  19. Johnes, G. and Hyclak T. (1989) ‘Wage inflation and unemployment in Europe: The regional dimension’, Regional Studies, 23 (1), pp. 19–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Klau, F. and Mittelstädt, A. (1986) ‘Labour market flexibility’, OECD Economic Studies, 6 (Spring), pp. 7–45.Google Scholar
  21. Lindley, R.M. (1991) ‘Politica fiscali, strategie sul mercato del lavoro e il 1992’, in. B. Quintieri and F.C. Rosati (eds), Mercato del Lavoro, Disoccupazione e Politiche di Intervento, Milan, FrancoAngeli, pp. 187–213.Google Scholar
  22. OECD (1986) Flexibility in the Labour Market, Paris, OECD.Google Scholar
  23. OECD (1990) Employment Outlook, Paris, OECD.Google Scholar
  24. OECD (1993) Employment Outlook, Paris, OECD.Google Scholar
  25. OECD (1994a) The OECD Jobs Study, Paris, OECD.Google Scholar
  26. OECD (1994b) Employment Outlook, Paris, OECD.Google Scholar
  27. Petit, P. and Ward, T. (1995) ‘The implications for employment in Europe of the changing pattern of trade and production in the global economy’, CEC Round Tables on the Social Dialogue, Paris, July.Google Scholar
  28. Poret, P. (1990) ‘The puzzle of wage moderation in the 1980s’, OECD Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper, 87, Paris, OECD.Google Scholar
  29. Walwei, U. and Werner, H. (1993) ‘Employment and social dimensions of the single European Market’, IAB Labour Market Research Topics, 1.Google Scholar
  30. Wells, William (1992) ‘Does the structure of employment legislation affect the structure of employment and unemployment?’. UK Presidency European Labour Market Conference, Glasgow, November.Google Scholar
  31. Windmuller, J.P. (ed). (1987) Collective Bargaining in Industrialised Market Economies: A reappraisal, Geneva, ILO.Google Scholar
  32. Zighera, J.A. (1993) ‘Regional dispersion of industrial labour costs in the European Community (1988)’ (revised version of paper to EALE Annual Conference, University of Warwick, 1992; available from Laédix, Université Paris X-Nanterre).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Lindley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations