- The first part-time economy in the world. Does it work?
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: Amsterdam Institute for Advanced labour Studies, University of Amsterdam
- AIAS working paper
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)
In his Adam Smith lecture of the European Association of Labour Economists, Harvard economist Richard Freeman has defined the Netherlands as ‘the only part-time economy of the world, with a finger in the dike of unemployment’ (Freeman 1998: 2). How did it happen? What kind of jobs are these and whose jobs are they? Can a ‘one-and-a-half job’ model work? Is it a solution to Europe’s predicament of unemployment? These are the questions that I will try to answer in this paper.
The paper begins with a brief description of the main changes in the Dutch labour market during the past decades. It shows that there was a major reversal of trends on nearly all performance indicators in the early 1980s. Next, I discuss the role of wage moderation, sectoral change and job redistribution. In section three I shall focus in particular on the role of atypical and part-time employment. Section four concentrates on policies and changes in labour market behaviour and preferences, in particular of (married) women, trade unions, employers and governments. In the concluding part I shall identify some problems associated with the one-and-a-half job model and try to answer the central evaluative questions and title of the paper.
- June 2000
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