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Alexandre Afonso (Univ. of Leiden, Netherlandes)

12 May 2016 @ 15:30


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12 May 2016
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“Institutional Change in South European Labour Market Regimes After the Crisis”


This paper seeks to map and compare change in labour markets regimes in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece in the aftermath of the financial crisis. While the extent of austerity policies in terms of fiscal retrenchment in these countries has been the subject of much interest, we still lack an overall picture of change in the areas of employment protection, income compensation, minimum wages, education and collective bargaining , and how reforms pushed by international financial institutions have reshaped institutional complementarities. Contradicting arguments supporting the idea that markets adapt more quickly than top-down political control, we show how greater state intervention prior to the crisis fostered swifter change in the face of private sector resistance, even on the side of employers. Hence, the greater reliance of Mediterranean economies on the state to compensate for the weak coordination capacity of economic actors made them particularly vulnerable to change in the context of the crisis of state finances.