Still in the South? Labour Market Reforms in the Mediterranean Countries During the Economic Crisis
The article analyses the main trajectories of labour market policy change in four Mediterranean countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain). It illustrates and discusses the main reforms adopted slightly before and during the recent economic crisis in the domains of employment relationships regulation and unemployment bene ts. The article addresses the following question: to what extent have such reforms affected the possibility to (still) detect a common Southern European (SE) labour policy model, as it was described by the sociological and political literature in the Nineties? Two dimensions are put at the centre of the analysis: the «internal coherence» of the labour policy model – i.e. how close are the institutional features of countries belonging to the same group – and the «external distinctiveness», i.e. the empirical distance between models. The article posits that the internal coherence of the SE labour policy model has been increased. In contrast, the possibility to distinguish the SE model from the Continental one has been sharply reduced, above all with reference to the liberalisation of employment contracts.
Keywords: Labour policy reforms; South European model; Liberalisation; Employment protection