An Occupational Perspective
Edited by Werner Eichhorst and Paul Marx
Chapter 2: Non-standard employment across occupations in Germany: the role of replaceability and labour market flexibility
Germany used to be perceived as a country with modest employment levels but high equality in the labour market. However, it is now widely acknowledged that the job boom of the previous decade has changed this picture. Its most striking effects were the relative increase of atypical forms of employment and an unseen rise in wage and income inequality (Carlin and Soskice, 2009; Giesecke and Verwiebe, 2009; Palier and Thelen, 2010; Streeck, 2009). In many respects, it has become increasingly difficult to argue that Germany falls short of the flexibility typically found in Anglo-American labour markets. This development – or at least its sweeping nature – has come as a surprise to many observers of the German employment model. Indeed, the parallel trajectory of various potentially causal factors makes it difficult to explain such changes, with the decline of union power (Visser, 2007), growing (female) labour supply (Esping-Andersen, 1999), tougher international competition (Carlin and Soskice, 2009) and structural change towards the service economy (Häusermann and Schwander, 2012; Palier and Thelen, 2010) adding up to a complex set of potential explanations for the German story. Moreover, the regulatory framework of the labour market has been reformed quite substantially (Clegg, 2007; Eichhorst and Marx, 2011).
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