The Political Economy of Work Security and Flexibility

Italy in Comparative Perspective

Fabio Berton, Matteo Richiardi, and Stefano Sacchi

The Political Economy of Work Security and Flexibility

Fabio Berton, Matteo Richiardi, and Stefano Sacchi

Distributed for Bristol University Press

190 pages | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 | © 2012
Cloth $116.00 ISBN: 9781847429070 Published August 2012 For sale in North and South America only

The recent economic crisis has shown us the dark side of deregulating the labor market: rising unemployment, limited access to social security and, due to low wages, depleted savings to rely upon in bad times. An emphasis on flexibility has led to inequality and insecurity, Fabio Berton, Matteo Richiardi, and Stefano Sacchi reveal in this compelling study of Italy’s embrace of nonstandard work contracts. Analyzing outcomes at the individual level, the authors contrast Italy with Germany, Spain, and Japan as they demonstrate the social and economic fallout of pursuing flexibility merely as a tool to reduce costs.

List of figures and tables
Notes on the authors

1. Worker security and the spread of non-standard work
2. Flexibility and security in contemporary labour markets
3. Labour policy developments in Italy in comparative perspective
4. Flexibility and employment security: an analysis of work careers
5. Flexibility and wage dynamics
6. Flexibility and social security
7. A monetary measure of worker (in)security
8. Conclusions

Appendix A: The WHIP database
Appendix B: Main work contracts in Italy
Review Quotes
Richard B. Freeman,  Harvard University
“Using unique Italian work history data, the book offers a compelling analysis of the impact of nonstandard work on worker well-being in Italy and gives valuable comparisons to Germany, Japan and Spain.”
Lane Kenworthy, University of Arizona

“The aim of labor market deregulation is not just more hiring but an improvement in overall living standards. Via a detailed exploration of the Italian case, this fine book documents the importance of effective social protections to achievement of that goal.”

Martin Rhodes, University of Denver
“This book is distinctive for its careful comparative investigation and measurement of the multiple dimensions of worker insecurity. An impressive study which is a must read for scholars and policy makers alike.”
British Journal of Industrial Relations
“This book is a milestone: a conceptually clear, empirically-grounded contribution that advances our understanding of the complex links between flexibility and security.”
Work, Employment and Society
“By using clear language and structure and by offering an excellent overview of the flexicurity debate with solid empirical evidence on workers’ (in)security along multiple dimensions, this book is of indubitable value for academics, students, and policy makers.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Bristol University Press. RSS Feed