Does deregulation help? The impact of employment protection reforms on youths’ unemployment and temporary employment risks in Europe

Faculty/Professorship: Methods of Empirical Social Research  
Author(s): Gebel, Michael  ; Giesecke, Johannes
Title of the Journal: European Sociological Review
ISSN: 1468-2672
Publisher Information: Oxford : Oxford Univ. Press
Year of publication: 2016
Volume: 32
Issue: 4
Pages: 486-500
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcw022
Rigid employment protection legislation (EPL) has been blamed as the root of youths’ labour market integration problems in Europe. Many European countries have reacted by deregulating employment protection laws, often targeting youths as a group. However, doubts about the effectiveness of EPL reforms have arisen. Against this background, this article investigates whether EPL reforms succeeded in integrating youths into labour markets or whether they were ineffective and just promoted temporary employment as a crucial new social inequality in Europe. Based on two-step, three-level analyses using micro-data from the European Labour Force Survey for 19 European countries for the period from 1992 to 2012, our results show that deregulating the use of temporary contracts increased temporary employment risks of youths but did not reduce (for low-educated young men, even increased) unemployment risks. In contrast, we find some evidence that decreasing the protection of permanent jobs was successful in decreasing risks of inequality/insecurity (in terms of temporary jobs) without affecting the risks of labour market exclusion.
Keywords: employment protection legislation, unemployment, temporary employment, youth, Europe
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 24. October 2016