This chapter analyzes pension privatization strategies and outcomes in two late-reforming countries: the Czech Republic and Romania. Using a set of pairwise comparisons between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Romania and Bulgaria, the chapter shows that privatization was initially imported into the region with the help of international actors and local policy-makers who perceived it as the only solution to demographic aging. Thus, early privatizers adopted variations of pension privatization closest to the World Bank’s ideal. By contrast, through learning, late reformers have deviated from early privatizers. While the decision to privatize among late reformers was determined by the ideological preferences of the policy-makers in charge of pensions, the specific policy choice in each case was adapted to fit the critiques raised by opponents of pension privatization. Late reformers specifically focused on problems experienced by their early-reformer neighbors, whom they perceived as best examples to learn from.
Dragos Adascalitei and Stefan Domonkos
Dragoș Adăscăliței and Jason Heyes
This chapter examines labour market policy in the European Union in the wake of the 2008/9 global financial crisis and discusses how labour market measures have prioritized economic competitiveness and wage moderation as national governments have sought to reign in public deficits. However, the chapter also emphasises that more than a decade after the start of the global financial crisis, European labour markets continue to struggle with issues of unemployment, underemployment, bogus self-employment and job quality. The scale of these issues varies between countries and country groups. European level attempts to address the employment effects of the crisis continue to be informed by the pre-crisis emphasis on flexicurity and therefore continue to rely on supply side solutions to labour market problems, with social concerns remaining subordinate to economic concerns in European policy making.