Date of Degree

9-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Sociology

Advisor

Janet C. Gornick

Committee Members

Mary Clare Lennon

Neil Bennett

Ruth Milkman

Keywords

Flexicurity, labor amrket, gender equality, welfare state, job security perception

Abstract

Flexicurity is a major labor market strategy that the European Union (EU) Commission has adopted; it aims to simultaneously enhance flexibility in response to rapid changes and strengthen security in the labor market. Although EU Commission staff have firmly asserted that flexicurity will enhance gender equality, a number of feminist scholars have expressed doubts that this is the case. However, these academic detractors have thus far not proposed any practical quantitative indicators or methods to examine the exact relationship between flexicurity and gender equality. Therefore, the major purpose of this study is to examine the effects of flexicurity on gender equality using quantitative methods. It utilizes micro data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) data waves and the International Social Survey Programme’s (ISSP) 2005 survey as well as an OECD dataset for macro-level flexicurity policy indices. It uses hierarchical modeling to estimate the effects of flexicurity policies on (1) on five components of males’ and females’ labor market outcomes (i.e., the probability of being employed, of working part-time, of being in a female-type occupation, of having a managerial position, or of being afforded probabilities for advancement); (2) earnings; and (3) subjective job security and employment security. Taken together, this research can shed light on flexicurity policies’ effects on different aspects of gender equality: employment protection legislation (EPL) does not necessarily exert negative influence on female workers’ employment prospects but yields to negative effects on female workers’ subjective job security perceptions. At the same time, the effects of active labor market policies (ALMPs) seem more inconsistent in regard to female employment prospects, while passive labor market policies (PLMPs) do not significantly influence job-loss worries for either gender. In other words, the labor institution’s “flexibility” side has more negative effects on female workers’ security perceptions, whereas its “security” side still does not function well enough to improve workers’ perceptions of security.

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