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Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe

Labour Markets in Transition Edited by Ruud Muffels, Professor of Socio-Economics (Labour Market and Social Security), Tilburg University, the Netherlands
This book seeks to gain a better understanding of the paradoxical relationship between the alleged need of European labour markets to become more flexible and the way in which national policies pursue this aim without jeopardising existing high standards of income and employment security. Special interest is devoted to the way in which countries opt for different policy routes to cope with the aim of balancing flexibility and security goals in their respective labour market and social protection policies. The contributions in this book all try to unveil the particular changes or transitions occurring in the various labour markets, to learn about their medium and longer term effects and the role of institutions and policies to cushion the adverse consequences of these changes. By studying some ‘best practices’ in Denmark, Canada and Australia they also draw some important lessons about the reasons why national policies might either fail or better cope with the challenges Europe face today.
Extent: 424 pp
Hardback Price: $173.00 Web: $155.70
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 464 6
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Labour Economics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Labour Policy
This book seeks to gain a better understanding of the paradoxical relationship between the alleged need of European labour markets to become more flexible and the way in which national policies pursue this aim without jeopardising existing high standards of income and employment security. Special interest is devoted to the way in which countries opt for different policy routes to cope with the aim of balancing flexibility and security goals in their respective labour market and social protection policies. The contributions in this book all try to unveil the particular changes or transitions occurring in the various labour markets, to learn about their medium and longer term effects and the role of institutions and policies to cushion the adverse consequences of these changes. By studying some ‘best practices’ in Denmark, Canada and Australia they also draw some important lessons about the reasons why national policies might either fail or better cope with the challenges Europe face today.

Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe is a study rich in data that will appeal to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in economics, sociology and political science and in particular students of the labour market, social policy and European studies. It will also prove invaluable to policymakers at regional, national and European level seeking a greater understanding of the complex issues surrounding, and the relationship between labour market flexibility and standards of income and employment security.
‘. . . the book offers a collection of good papers by sociologists and economists, dealing with a variety of topics.’
– Johannes Giesecke, European Sociological Review

‘This is an outstanding volume: carefully edited and well structured, with each individual chapter being a rich, state-of-the-art contribution to our understanding of European labour markets. It definitely should be required reading for anybody dealing with labour market dynamics, transitional labour markets and flexicurity.’
– Brigitte Waldorf, Papers in Regional Science

‘The book will be useful reading for economics students and anyone taking decisions about jobs and employment who needs to understand the interaction between labour market flexibility and security for workers.’
– Agence Europe

‘In this volume, Ruud Muffels presents carefully selected articles that are at the ultimate forefront of professional studies on “transitional labour markets” and “flexicurity”. It is a must for all scholars interested in rigorous analysis of labour market dynamics and a rich source for all people interested in modern employment policy over the life course. The book concludes with a brilliant epilogue by the editor about the state and future of flexibility and employment security in Europe.’
– Günther Schmid, Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB), Germany
Contributors: J.-C. Barbier, G. Bijwaard, M. Booghmans, J. de Koning, A. Debels, D. Fouarge, M. Gangl, V. Hernanz, R. Luijkx, P.K. Madsen, A.C. Masi, N. Meager, R. Muffels, F. Origo, D. Parent, M. Samek Lodovici, P. Stricker, L. Toharia, A. van den Berg, B. van Dijk, S. van Gils, C. Vermandere, C.-H. von Restorff, S. Ziguras
Contents:

Preface

PART I: LABOUR MARKET MOBILITY AND IN-WORK TRANSITIONS
1. Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe: Setting the Scene
Ruud Muffels

2. There is More to Job Quality than ‘Precariousness’: A Comparative Epistemological Analysis of the ‘Flexibility and Security’ Debate in Europe
Jean-Claude Barbier

3. Transitions out of Temporary Jobs: Consequences for Employment and Poverty Across Europe
Annelies Debels

4. Dreaming of a Permanent Job: The Transitions of Temporary Workers in Italy and Spain
Virginia Hernanz, Federica Origo, Manuela Samek Lodovici and Luis Toharia

5. Mobility in the Labour Market: Analysing Career Paths Using Administrative Data
Mieke Booghmans, Seppe van Gils and Caroline Vermandere

PART II: ‘SCARRING’ EFFECTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND NON-STANDARD EMPLOYMENT
6. Male Labour Market Mobility and Income and Employment Security in Europe
Ruud Muffels and Ruud Luijkx

7. Unemployment and Worker Career Prospects: A Cross-national Comparison
Markus Gangl

8. Self-employment Dynamics and ‘Transitional Labour Markets’: Some More UK Evidence
Nigel Meager

9. Part-time Work and Childbirth in Europe: Scarring the Career or Meeting Working-time Preferences?
Didier Fouarge and Ruud Muffels

10. Working Time Preferences, Labour Market Transitions and Job Satisfaction
Govert Bijwaard, Bram van Dijk and Jaap de Koning

PART III: ‘BEST POLICY PRACTICES’ IN AUSTRALIA, CANADA AND DENMARK
11. Labour Market Transitions in Australia: Employment, Flexibility and Security in a Liberal Welfare Regime
Stephen Ziguras and Peter Stricker

12. From Unemployment to Employment Insurance: Towards Transitional Labour Markets in Canada?
Axel van den Berg, Claus-H. von Restorff, Daniel Parent and Anthony C. Masi

13. The Danish Road to ‘Flexicurity’ Where are we Compared to Others? And How did we Get There?
Per Kongshøj Madsen

14. Conclusion. Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe: A Siamese Twin?
Ruud Muffels

Index