Assessing the impact of liberalization policies on the Greek labour market: An insider-experts’ view from the perspective of the varieties of liberalization

Myrto Tourtouri*, Dimitris Pavlopoulos, Christos Papatheodorou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

During the recent Great Recession (2008-2018), Greece has become the prototype example of the implementation of austerity policies in Europe. Contrary to public discourse, these austerity policies were complemented by substantial labour market reforms that promoted employment and wage flexibility. This paper aims to present a theory-driven understanding of the implementation and the effects of these reforms. For this purpose, we employ a qualitative study consisting of semi-structured interviews with 50 labour market experts– government officials and labour lawyers, academics, labour union representatives, and employer association representatives. Using Thelen’s (2014) framework on the Varieties of Liberalization, we conclude that, contrary to the initial aims of the reforms, Greece followed a trajectory of direct deregulation, reducing considerably both the level of coordination between employers and workers, as well as the coverage of employment protection. The interviews show that the dismantling of collective bargaining system was the most decisive move in this path.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-535
Number of pages19
JournalIndustrial Relations
Volume51
Issue number6
Early online date6 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Greece
  • Varieties of Liberalization
  • Great Recession
  • economic crisis
  • labour market deregulation

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