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Alternative strategies for fighting unemployment: lessons from the European experience

Saint-Paul, Giles (2008) Alternative strategies for fighting unemployment: lessons from the European experience. World Economics 9 (1), pp. 35-55. ISSN 1468-1838.

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Abstract

During more than three decades of protracted high unemployment, European countries have developed a variety of approaches in order to tackle the problem. These strategies differ in their philosophy, scopes and successes. A number of them can be understood in terms of shying away from full-fledged liberalization in order to preserve the “European Social Model”. In this paper I discuss their relative merits. I will focus on strategies that may reasonably be expected to reduce unemployment, and will ignore sheer blunders based on a false view of how the economics works (such as working time reduction), as well as measures that may improve the welfare of the unemployed but are nevertheless harmful to the labour market (such as generous unemployment benefits). The general message is that some of the strategies that “preserve the European Social Model” have merits, but are unlikely to lead to an efficient labour market where finding a job or hiring a worker are no longer considered as a painful challenge.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Economics, Mathematics and Statistics
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 12 May 2011 11:29
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2013 16:25
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/1964

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