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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 14: Transitional labour markets and employment stability

Peter Auer and Sandrine Cazes


Peter Auer and Sandrine Cazes INTRODUCTION Transitions to Stable Employment The first elements of a theory of transitional labour markets (O’Reilly et al., 2000; Schmid, 2000; Schmid and Auer, 1998; Schmid and Gazier, 2001; Schömann, 2001; Wilthagen, 1998, and others) start from the observation that labour markets are dynamic and that an individual passes through many different labour market situations during a professional life cycle. Transitions occur between education and training and employment, between jobs, between jobs and unemployment, between jobs and parental, training or other leave, and between jobs and retirement. In fact, if all labour market flows are taken into account, on aggregate the labour market resembles a very dynamic matrix of constant inflows and outflows from and to different labour market states. A second observation is that some of these transitions are spontaneous and voluntary (such as voluntary job changes), while others are involuntary (such as involuntary transfers or dismissals). A third observation is that some transitions are successful and others are not. The successful transitions result in good matches between supply and demand on the labour market, the unsuccessful ones end in unemployment – often for prolonged periods – or in an undesired labour market status, such as involuntary temporary or part-time work or involuntary withdrawal from the labour market. A main result of a successful labour market transition is precisely the fact of having entered a desired job with decent wages, social protection (in cases of sickness, maternity, retirement and unemployment), good working conditions...

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