Employee flexibility: Myths, half-truths and downright manipulation?

Some research on labour market flexibility emerged this week from the Work Foundation. The study challenges the "widespread conviction that low levels of employment regulation and weak trade unions are the cause of Britain’s good record at creating jobs and keeping unemployment down".

In Who’s Afraid of Labour Market Flexibility? David Coates suggests several European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands) have achieved comparable or better levels of labour market dynamism to the UK - while at the same time allowing for much greater levels of “workplace justice".

The long and short of the paper is an argument that challenges Britain's (and probably the USA's) labour market policy of the past quarter century, i.e. light regulation of the labour market is the only way to create economic prosperity for its citizens. In other words, there is at least one other way to full and fulfilling employment.

A press release and an overview of the research paper can be found here.

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