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Labour Markets, Gender and Institutional Change

Essays in Honour of Günther Schmid

Edited by Hugh Mosley and Jacqueline O’Reilly

The original essays in this book have been written by a number of leading international experts in the field of labour market studies to honour the intellectual contribution and lifetime achievement of Günther Schmid.
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Chapter 11: Transitional labour markets and scarcity: a preliminary analysis

Bernard Gazier


11. Transitional labour markets and scarcity: a preliminary analysis Bernard Gazier Finally, it is not only tangible resources, such as monetary assets, capital, property and land, but also free time that is critically important for the accumulation of the resources required to cope with critical transitions. (G. Schmid)1 INTRODUCTION As a labour market reform proposal, transitional labour markets (TLMs) may be seen as a pragmatic device for combating unemployment and social exclusion that is necessarily linked to other approaches such as monetary and budgetary policies and social protection reforms. In itself such an agenda may be considered quite ambitious in the light of the enduring problem of mass unemployment of the last 30 years of the twentieth century. Even though better prospects have emerged at the beginning of the new century, much inequality and exclusion has remained at the core of the labour markets of both developed and developing countries. The main justification for elaborating TLMs clearly lies here. However, many aspects of TLMs represent an even more ambitious perspective of third millennium policy orientation. TLMs introduce decentralized and local negotiations on mobility as a response to globalization and ‘manufactured risks’; as negotiated arrangements they offer initial solutions to some privatization/public monopoly dilemmas; and, above all, ‘making transitions pay’ – the TLM catch phrase for ‘activating’ processes – leads to the affirmation of collective ‘flexicurity’. TLM proposals attempt to reconcile personal initiative, risk-taking behaviour and solidarity on the basis of a network of institutions and bargaining practices. In short,...

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