The Social Dimensions of Employment: Institutional Reforms in Labour Markets

The contributions to this timely volume explore the social implications of labour market reforms, and assess the complex relationship between the economic and non-economic aspects of labour institutions. The authors ascertain that labour market systems have important social dimensions, including social benefits and effects on psychological well-being and on social relationships. They go on to argue that the evaluation of reforms should take into consideration this social impact. The book examines the requirements for increased flexibility in contractual associations whilst maintaining social protection and job security. Using new utility criteria, guidelines for evaluating labour market and social protection system reform policies are recommended. It is argued that policy evaluations should consider whether social benefits are compatible with the increased flexibility demanded by the marketplace, taking into account the complex social and cultural rules which affect human behaviour, and the fact that individuals are concerned with issues such as fairness, status and the well-being of their fellow citizens. Policymakers involved in government, international institutions, professional associations for social work and labour relations, unions and employer federations will find this book to be a useful and fascinating read. It will also be of great interest to academics involved in labour economics, industrial relations and industrial economics.