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Index of Volumes

Vol. 135 (1996), No. 2

While there are significant changes under way in the nature of work and - as taken up in the last issue of the Review - many factors contributing to workers' anxiety, the fundamental transitions remain entry into and exit from working life. In this issue, Lindley addresses the transition from school to work and Espina the question of pensions for retirement. In addition, many of the historic experiments with changing working hours have been designed to facilitate those transitions as well as to increase the total level of employment; that is the subject of the article in this issue by Roche, Fynes and Morrissey. Finally, Endres and Fleming remind us of earlier and relevant analyses of recurrent problems.

Working time and employment: A review of international evidence, by William K. ROCHE, Brian FYNES and Terri MORRISSEY

The job-creation potential of redistributing available work between more people attracts attention. Is it real? Can it be tapped to reduce unemployment? The authors examine the employment effects of reductions in standard working hours, controlling overtime, job-sharing, extended leave and early retirement in OECD countries. Their research highlights several concerns associated with particular forms of work-sharing, such as gender biases and trade-offs between age groups or between workers' and employers' interests. They find no significant link between work-sharing and employment levels and argue for viewing work-sharing in a broad and dynamic framework.

The school-to-work transition in the United Kingdom, by Robert M. LINDLEY

Despite evidence linking youth unemployment to labour market conditions rather than to poor educational preparation, the policy response has since the mid-1980s focused on education and training, extending the school-to-work transition. Although the unemployed include a high proportion of less qualified people, the author questions the efficiency and equity of training as a remedy. Subsidizing post-compulsory education for the most able can be justified where it develops skills complementary to those of the least able, he argues, but tackling hard-core youth unemployment needs a wide range of policies concerned with economic, social and physical environments.

Reform of pension schemes in the OECD countries, by Álvaro ESPINA

The author considers problems associated with state pension schemes in OECD countries, with particular reference to Spain. He reviews the current state of the three main models of social security: the "occupational" model, originating in continental Europe, the "universal" model from Scandinavia and the British "residual welfare" model. He outlines a system for comparing national pension schemes to encourage international analysis and to obtain data that would be helpful in framing reforms. He maintains that the move to privatize state pensions is weakening with the advance in the benchmarking process between countries in the search for "best practice".

International economic policy in the interwar years: The special contribution of ILO economists, by A.M. ENDRES and Grant FLEMING

In the 1920s and 1930s ILO economists were in the vanguard of a stream of economic thought which regularly questioned orthodox theory and policy and which was subsequently vindicated. A key issue addressed was monetary policy which, they argued, should be formulated with a view to its impact on output and employment as well as the price level. Other innovative contributions concerned employment stabilization, "underconsumption" and wages policy, and policy responses to economic depression. This article is valuable for its retrospective view and for the evidence it provides that many of the issues and arguments raised then remain topical.


Combating unemployment and exclusion: The essence of an ILO approach

International trade and labour standards: The ILO Director-General speaks out

Updated by MCN. Approved by MFL. Last update: 9 November 1999.