Social and Industrial Policy Change in Italy and Japan
Edited by Hideko Magara and Stefano Sacchi
Chapter 9: Italy’s labour policy and policy making in the crisis: from distributive coalitions to the shadow of hierarchy
The financial and ensuing employment crisis has further added to the already well-documented social protection gaps for large segments of the workforce in Italy, giving rise to an increased socioeconomic problem load. In a first phase, the main policy response was the exploitation of existing policies, mainly by adapting short-time work schemes to the crisis rather than creating a system of comprehensive unemployment compensation. This outcome, although detrimental for labour market outsiders and dysfunctional for Italy’s productivity and innovation rates, can be explained in terms of the material interests of all the corporate collective actors involved. Since the financial crisis escalated to a sovereign debt crisis, however, a good deal has changed. Incapacity to make economic policy decisions in the face of a rapidly deteriorating economic situation ultimately led to the resignation of the Berlusconi government in November 2011. Before resigning, however, the Berlusconi government passed a provision meant to allow firm-level collective bargaining to deregulate statutory employment protection for all types of workers. Even more importantly, it agreed with European Union (EU) partners and institutions that Italy would introduce a labour market reform to make dismissals easier. The installation of a non-partisan government led by Mario Monti, grudgingly supported by both the centre-left and centre-right, paved the way to a harsh pension reform that was introduced in a very top-down fashion by the government, with few concessions to the unions.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.