ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

Index of Volumes

VOLUME 139, NUMBER 1 2000/1



Employment and concepts of work in the new global economy


Exploring the meaning of work, the author sweeps from ancient Greece and medieval Europe through the Reformation, the industrial revolution and Taylorism to the modern day. Drawing on authorities in economics, philosophy, religion and law he constructs an impressive intellectual history of the role and value of work. Noting the convergence toward the fundamental principles of the right to work and the objective of full employment, he stresses the need to humanize globalization and technological change if they are to "take their place as instruments for the pursuit of happiness in a less fraught, more leisured and more equitable world".

ILO principles concerning collective bargaining

Bernard GERNIGON, Alberto ODERO and Horacio GUIDO

The major changes now occurring worldwide are also affecting collective bargaining: the coverage of collective agreements is shrinking, and there are growing numbers of enterprise-based agreements and settlements concerning the public sector in many countries. Nevertheless, the adaptability nature of the international principles involved ensures their enduring validity. The authors describe the principles expressed in the ILO's Conventions and Recommendations and by the bodies charged with supervising compliance therewith. Finally, they give a general view of collective bargaining as a fundamental right and of the degree to which it is applied.

Employment protection in industrialized countries: The case for new indicators

Giuseppe BERTOLA, Tito BOERI and Sandrine CAZES

The once clear-cut negative correlation between employment stability and the stringency of employment protection appears to have been lost since the mid-1980s. This may be partly due to the obsolescence of existing measures and rankings of stringency. The authors argue that new indicators are needed to capture the complexity of today's institutional frameworks. They illustrate their argument by analysing the role of judicial enforcement of protection -- a crucial, yet hitherto neglected determinant of labour market outcomes. Progress in developing new indicators is urgent, in the interest of providing a more solid basis for decisions on reform of employment protection.

The effects of benefits on unemployment and wages: A comparison of unemployment compensation systems

Vincenzo SPIEZIA

Elaborating upon a stylized distinction between unemployment assistance and unemployment insurance, Spiezia mounts a credible challenge to the theory that unemployment benefits invariably have undesirable effects on the labour market. Whether or not they do, he argues, depends not so much on their level as on the administrative framework within which they are provided. His theoretical analysis shows that their effect on unemployment duration and wages can be negligible if they are (largely) financed from workers' and employers' contributions and subject to eligibility conditions. The balance between efficiency and equity thus requires unemployment compensation to be separated from social assistance.

Recent books
New ILO publications

ISSN 1564-913X

Updated by MCN. Approved by MFL. Last update: 18 August 2000.