Labour regimes in European Advanced Economies: labour markets, carework and welfare states
Faculty of Sociology University of Rome La Sapienza Rome, Italy
In any society social reproduction can be achieved essentially in three different ways whose boundaries are continuously redefined: engagement into paid employment, unpaid family work or intra-family transfers or welfare state support. The institutional set up of labour markets along the XVII century has gone along with the expulsion of certain activities and groups of people from the legitimate productive sphere. Those activities are not limited to housework or family work (Saraceno, 1998: 48) but include others which are normally neglected, such as education, and others still that have been invented along the course of time (retirement). Certain institutional set ups of the labour market lie thus on distinct configurations of the other two spheres of social reproduction (unpaid family work and welfare state support and intra-family transfers) that imply different effects on how the different segments of the population are incorporated into the labour market. The concept of labour regime has been defined as the set of relatively coherent and lasting rules of social life that consent to mobilize labour energies in typical forms (Mingione, 1997: 158). In this work, using aggregate data, we will describe how European advanced economies cluster accordingi to their labour regime whereas we define the concept of labour regime as the intersection of two dimensions: the differential degree of participation of groups defined by gender and age into the labour market (selection of the labour force), the prevailing shape in which the labour relation is regulated (standardization of the employment relation). Finally, we investigate to what degree the different models that emerge can be explained through the existence of certain configuration in the reproductive and welfare spheres.