Special Issue European Labour Markets in Economic Crisis

International Labour Review, June 2013 | Go to article overview

Special Issue European Labour Markets in Economic Crisis


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167 Introduction: European labour markets in economic crisis

Raymond TORRES

Since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, a further 8 million Europeans have become unemployed. And prolonged recession entails other risks examined here, in terms of labour market exclusion, the economic costs of long-term unemployment, and the extent to which enterprises' job-creating investment potential may become severely constrained. Against this background, the author critically reviews the European policy response with particular attention to the shift to fiscal consolidation since mid-2010 and its long-term implications for Europe's economies, labour markets and societies. Introducing the studies featured in this Special Issue, he draws on their empirical findings to discuss policy options for a reversal of current trends.

Keywords: unemployment, employment, economic recession, economic implication, social implication, economic recovery, trend, europe.

175 The impact of the economic crisis on EU labour markets: A comparative perspective Pasquale TRIDICO

Using a "crisis management index" to rank the combined GDP and labour market performances of the EU's 27 Member States, the author considers why some countries performed better than others in managing the economic crisis over the period 2007-11. Based on empirical correlations and regression analysis, he concludes that the best performers share a coordinated market economy model: they feature a mix of economic policies and social institutions - including coordination mechanisms and tighter financial regulation - which helped to stabilize their levels of consumption and aggregate demand. Moreover, they do not have flexible labour markets and thus managed to maintain stable employment levels.

Keywords: employment, unemployment, gross domestic product, economic implication, economic recovery, economic recession, trend, eu countries.

191 How do the Eurozone's Beveridge and Phillips curves perform in the face of global economic crisis?

Friedrich L. SELL and David C. REINISCH

In the light of criticism of the failure of "mainstream" economics to predict and avert the global financial and economic crisis, the authors use panel data on 11 Eurozone countries for the period 2007-10 to investigate how two of the "traditional" tools of labour economics and macroeconomics - the Beveridge and Phillips curves - perform empirically under the "stress test" of global economic crisis. After confirming the reliability of these textbook relationships between unemployment and vacancy ratios, and unemployment and inflation, respectively, they explore the correlation between inflation and vacancies. Their findings on all three relationships highlight the complementarity of supply-side and demand-side policies to reduce unemployment.

Keywords: unemployment, labour supply, inflation, Phillips curve, economic recession, EU countries.

205 Productivity, deunionization and trade: Wage effects and labour share implications Dario JUDZIK and Hector SALA

Taking the standard macroeconomic assumption of a one-to-one relationship between wages and productivity as given, empirical studies have extensively focused on the wage and employment effects of "unfriendly" labour market institutions. Here, by contrast, the authors examine the long-term wage effects of productivity growth, deunionization and international trade - from 1980 to 2010, in Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. After controlling for productivity, they document an underlying downward trend in wages associated with declining union density and growing exposure to international trade. Their analysis also provides useful insights into the attendant erosion of the labour income share.

Keywords: wages, wage differential, wage determination, labour productivity, trade unionization, trade, trend, finland, france, italy, japan, spain, sweden, UK, USA. …

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