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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Potential for flexibility in EC countries

Abstract

"There are two economic reasons for supporting the Internal Market Programme of the EC by social policies: the first argument refers to welfare theory, the second to policies of distribution. First, it could be possible that an economic integration without social completion will lead to welfare losses. Therefore, it could be necessary to correct market forces or to support them respectively because, due to market imperfections, they do not provide the best possible use of productive facilities. Second, it cannot be excluded that level and structure of social provisions will not be accepted because of superior aspects of policies of distribution. Market results could miss the aim of adjusting life and working conditions within the EC and developing them further. These two arguments mentioned above should be followed up in the discussion of the pros and cons of a harmonization of social systems in the EC. For the purposes of this paper these rather fundamental considerations are applied to the following concrete items: dismissal protection, non-standard forms of employment, and working hours. These regulations influence numerical flexibility of enterprises, i.e. the possibilities of quantitative adjustments in staff use. The steadily growing competition in Europe will also increase the importance of flexibility potentials of enterprises in the different countries as a relevant factor for enterprise location. Extensive flexibility restrictions could prove to be a competitive disadvantage in view of countries with more possibilities of flexibilization. Therefore, after the comparison of flexibility potentials in the EC-countries, the implications for European laws (key-word: Social Charter) are to be discussed." (Author's abstract) ((en))

Author


Bibliographical information

Konle-Seidl, Regina; Walwei, Ulrich (1991): Potential for flexibility in EC countries. In: Labour, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 175-193.
 

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