Labour Market Protection across Space and Time: a Revised Typology and a Taxonomy of Countries’ Trajectories of Change

by Federico Danilo Filetti and Emanuele Ferragina

Over the last decades, labour market protection in high-income countries underwent severe processes of change. Labour market liberalization first unfolded in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1980s and served as a blueprint for reforms successively implemented in Europe since the 1990s. These processes of reform accelerated as a consequence of European integration and the Great Recession in the 2000s. Labour market protection has been predominantly reformed through the deregulation of employment protection, the weakening of collective bargaining institutions and the recalibration of compensatory benefits (i.e., unemployment benefits and minimum income schemes). Contextually, the reception of compensatory benefits has been increasingly conditioned to the participation to active labour market programmes. Moving from this context, our study provides a map of labour market protection generosity and change since the 1990s in 21 high-income countries.