New Developments and Beyond
Edited by Jon C. Messenger and Naj Ghosheh
Chapter 8: Conclusion: Lessons learned from the Great Recession and implications for policy
As we have seen throughout this volume, work-sharing programmes and measures played a critical role in the crisis-response strategies of many countries around the world. Although the programme designs, target populations and eligibility criteria varied considerably from country to country, the overall objective of all of these measures was the same: to preserve jobs and maintain firms which were suffering from the severe, financial-crisis-induced economic downturn that has come to be known as the ‘Great Recession’. Indeed, those countries which had work-sharing programmes that pre-dated the crisis almost uniformly expanded those measures by relaxing eligibility requirements; increasing the wage supplements for affected workers and/or subsidies for eligible firms; and extending the duration of the measures – often for an entire year or even longer. In addition, a number of countries that had never before used work sharing developed and implemented new programmes, particularly in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Thus, the Great Recession of 2008–09 and its immediate aftermath provide a wealth of experiences from which we can draw some lessons for future economic crises regarding both the optimal design of crisis work-sharing programmes as job-preservation measures and their potential effects on maintaining employment levels. In this chapter, rather than simply summarizing the individual contributions in this volume, we shall instead synthesize the work-sharing experiences that were presented and attempt to answer the question: what is the ideal programme design for a crisis work-sharing programme to preserve jobs during an economic downturn?
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