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Labor market institutions, the insider/outsider divide and social inequalities in employment in affluent countries

Biegert, Thomas ORCID: 0000-0001-5437-2561 (2017) Labor market institutions, the insider/outsider divide and social inequalities in employment in affluent countries. Socio-Economic Review. ISSN 1475-1461

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ser/mwx025


This article investigates the role of labor market institutions for social inequalities in employment. To distinguish institutional impacts for men and women, age groups and educational levels the analysis draws on data from 21 countries using the European Union Labor Force Survey and the Current Population Survey 1992–2012. The analysis demonstrates that there is significant heterogeneity in the relationship between institutions and employment across social groups. In line with the literature on dualization, institutions that arguably protect labor market insiders, i.e. employment protection, unionization and unemployment benefits, are frequently associated with greater inequality between typically disadvantaged groups and their insider peers. By contrast, institutions that discriminate less between insiders and outsiders, i.e. active labor market policies, minimum income benefits and centralized wage bargaining at times boost social equality on the labor market. The insider/outsider argument provides a valuable heuristic for assessing heterogeneity in institutional impacts, yet in several instances the results deviate from the expectations.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 The Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E24 - Macroeconomics: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution (includes wage indexation)
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 16:05
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 19:18

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