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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

David Brady and Thomas Biegert

Long considered the classic coordinated market economy featuring employment security and relatively little employment precarity, the German labor market has undergone profound…

Abstract

Long considered the classic coordinated market economy featuring employment security and relatively little employment precarity, the German labor market has undergone profound changes in recent decades. We assess the evidence for a rise in precarious employment in Germany from 1984 to 2013. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel through the Luxembourg Income Study, we examine low-wage employment, working poverty, and temporary employment. We also analyze changes in the demographics and the education/skill level of the German labor force. Although employment overall has increased, there has been a simultaneous significant increase in earnings and wage inequality. Moreover, there has been a clear increase in all three measures of precarious employment. The analyses reveal that models including a wide variety of independent variables – demographic, education/skill, job/work characteristics, and region – cannot explain the rise of precarious employment. Instead, we propose institutional change is the most plausible explanation. In addition to reunification and major social policy and labor market reforms, we highlight the dramatic decline of unionization among German workers. We conclude that while there are elements of stability to the German coordinated market economy, Germany increasingly exhibits substantial dualization, liberalization, inequality, and precarity.

Book part
Publication date: 25 April 2011

Kevin T. Leicht and David Brady

Purpose – David Gordon (1996) contended that the size of the managerial/administrative class has expanded in recent decades and that this has contributed to growing earnings…

Abstract

Purpose – David Gordon (1996) contended that the size of the managerial/administrative class has expanded in recent decades and that this has contributed to growing earnings inequality. This argument, however, has received insufficient attention despite its potential to explain some of the growth of earnings inequality in recent decades. We assess whether managerial intensity contributes to earnings inequality in affluent democracies, and thus evaluate his argument and extend it with a comparative perspective.

Methodology/approach – Our analyses are based on panel analyses of 17 affluent democracies from 1973 to 2004. Utilizing random- and fixed-effects models, we include three different measures of earnings inequality and an original measure of managerial intensity.

Findings: We show that managerial intensity is positively associated with all three measures of earnings inequality in random-effects models. As well, managerial intensity is positively associated with earnings inequality in the fixed-effects models for the 90/50 ratio of earnings inequality, but is not significant for the other two measures.

Originality/value – This study provides one of the few tests of Gordon's argument. We demonstrate that growing managerial intensity has contributed to rising earnings inequality in affluent democracies. In contrast to previous research, we argue that much of the rise of earnings inequality is due to political/institutional factors rather than labor market and demographic change. One of the reasons for Europe's relatively lower level of and slower increase in earnings inequality is its lower managerial intensity.

Details

Comparing European Workers Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-947-3

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2011

David Brady

This is the second volume in the Research in the Sociology of Work set on “Comparing European Workers.” The first volume focused on experiences and inequalities (Brady, 2011)…

Abstract

This is the second volume in the Research in the Sociology of Work set on “Comparing European Workers.” The first volume focused on experiences and inequalities (Brady, 2011). This volume concentrates on policies and institutions. While the first volume identified many of the problems and challenges that European workers face, this volume considers potential solutions. Of course, the social policies and labor unions of Europe are hardly panaceas for the variety of challenges that European labor markets face. Nevertheless, this volume explores how well policies and institutions can address those challenges. In the process, it appraises how the classic solutions for workers are undergoing transformations and what those transformations mean for the future of work in Europe.

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 April 2011

Abstract

Details

Comparing European Workers Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-947-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2011

Abstract

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

Book part
Publication date: 25 April 2011

David Brady

The chapters in the volume are organized into two sections. The first three chapters examine the “Experience of Work” in European countries. The following four focus on various…

Abstract

The chapters in the volume are organized into two sections. The first three chapters examine the “Experience of Work” in European countries. The following four focus on various aspects of economic “Inequality” by drawing comparisons between and within Europe and other affluent democracies. In this section, I provide a brief preview of each chapter and identify a few of the unique contributions of each.

Details

Comparing European Workers Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-947-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 April 2011

Abstract

Details

Comparing European Workers Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-947-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2011

Abstract

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2011

Lane Destro and David Brady

Purpose – Although many have expressed concern over whether generous welfare policies discourage the employment of single mothers, scholars have rarely exploited cross-national…

Abstract

Purpose – Although many have expressed concern over whether generous welfare policies discourage the employment of single mothers, scholars have rarely exploited cross-national variation in the generosity of social policies to assess this question. This is the case even though much previous scholarship has examined the effects of social policy on women's and mothers' labor force engagement. This chapter evaluates whether generous social policies have a disincentive effect on single-mother employment.

Methodology/approach – Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), we conduct a cross-national, multilevel analysis of the effects of social policy generosity on single-mother employment in 17 affluent democracies.

Findings – We find high rates of single-mother employment – above 60 percent in 15 of the 17 countries and above 70 percent in 5 countries. We find little effect of social policy for employment, as our two measures of social policy are insignificant in almost all models. If there are welfare disincentives, they only appear significant for young single mothers, and this evidence is limited as well. We find contradictory evidence for the employment incentive for low-educated single mothers.

We determine that single-mother employment is largely driven by the same individual characteristics – educational attainment, age, and household composition – that drive employment in the general population, and among women and mothers.

Originality/value of chapter – To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the few cross-national, multilevel tests of the welfare disincentive thesis for single-mother employment. We provide evidence that welfare generosity does not discourage single-mother employment.

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2011

Nathan D. Martin and Yunus Kaya

Purpose – East European ex-communist countries have now experienced nearly two decades of turbulent economic conditions and challenges resulting from the market transition. Since…

Abstract

Purpose – East European ex-communist countries have now experienced nearly two decades of turbulent economic conditions and challenges resulting from the market transition. Since the early 1990s, there has been considerable decline in unionization throughout the region. This study uses information on union membership provided by four waves of the World Values Survey (WVS) to explain trends in unionization in East European ex-communist countries from 1990 to 2006.

Methodology/approach – We use random-effects and fixed-effects models to test predictions for three sets of explanations for cross-national and historical variation in unionization: industrialization, globalization, and institutions.

Findings – We find a degree of support for all three explanations of union decline. Overall, our analyses reveal the strongest support for industrialization and business cycle explanations. Inflation, unemployment, and urban population growth are all significant factors in shaping patterns of unionization in ex-communist East Europe. Our analyses show that aspects of economic and financial globalization have had significant, negative effects on unionization in the region. Manufacturing imports and foreign direct investment inflows appear to have undermined the position of domestic labor and contributed to declines in union membership.

Originality/value of the chapter – Successor and newly independent unions face the twin challenges of gaining public confidence as representatives of workers' interests, and withstanding increasing market pressures and conditions unfavorable for unionization. We provide evidence that without strong institutions to serve as buffers to external economic conditions, unionization levels in East European ex-communist countries are more open to market forces.

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

Keywords

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