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Conventions and Structures in Economic Organization

Markets, Networks and Hierarchies

Edited by Olivier Favereau and Emmanuel Lazega

This book contributes to the current rapprochement between economics and sociology. It examines the fact that individuals use rules and interdependencies to forward their own interests, while living in social environments where everyone does the same. The authors argue that to construct durable organizations and viable markets, they need to be able to handle both. However, thus far, economists and sociologists have not been able to reconcile the relationship between these two types of constraints on economic activity.
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Chapter 7: Employer/emplyee relationship regulation and the lessons of school/work transition in France

Markets, Networks and Hierarchies

Alain Degenne


7. Employer/employee relationship regulation and the lessons of school/work transition in France Alain Degenne INTRODUCTION We look at salaried employment and usually start by thinking in terms of the ‘labour market’, but this puts the cart before the horse, even if what we are researching does indeed square with what the term ‘labour market’ usually covers. We shall attempt to show that we need detailed analysis of the employer/employee relationship, its forms of regulation, varieties, etiology and the relative importance of these factors before we can understand that relationship, and that, if research does result in what we conventionally call ‘labour market segmentation’, the labour market should turn up as a by-product of our research (Jacob and Vérin, 1995). With this in mind, we shall outline theoretical elements that draw unusually little inspiration from standard economic analysis and, more particularly, we shall attach only relative value to the issue of salary levels (Perrot, 1998). The LASMAS-IDL longitudinal studies institute started such investigations over five years ago to extract maximum understanding from a longitudinal view of life sequences about actual practices among employers and employees alike. Others have also stressed the longitudinal approach, including the CÉREQ job qualification research centre which has collected data and produced results that have fostered five annual seminars to date, including the last in Strasbourg in 1998. The seminars initially focused on both trajectory typologies and on methods, especially demographic methods that we call ‘lifespan models’. The LASMAS team has worked mostly on trajectory...

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