Labor Market Measures
in the Crisis and the
Convergence of Social Models
Adapt and Marco Biagi Centre for International and Comparative Studies, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Following the GDP decreases resulting from the severe economic crisis, EU member states experienced, each to a different extent, higher levels of unemployment. However, the implementation of so-called anticrisis measures limited such increases in unemployment—in some cases they were not as high as expected—in the majority of EU member states. Intending to minimize the impact of the downturn in social terms and support both companies and employees, the EU took a number of actions to drive the economic recovery and coordinate EU member states’ public interventions, with member states either adapting existing labor market policies or introducing new ones (European Commission 2008).1 In this context, the majority of member states launched ad hoc and comprehensive “anticrisis packages” consisting of a variety of measures to cope with the recession and resulting in a wide range of public policy tools aimed at reducing the impact of the crisis on the labor market.
During the economic downturn, some countries have performed much better than others. We set out to determine whether this happened by chance or if it was a consequence of the national social model and the choices governments made in applying specific labor market measures. In fact, the purpose of our study is to identify whether there