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European Social Models From Crisis to CrisisEmployment and Inequality in the Era of Monetary Integration$
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Jon Erik Dølvik and Andrew Martin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717966.001.0001

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The Evolution and Crises of the Social Models in Italy and Spain

The Evolution and Crises of the Social Models in Italy and Spain

(p.177) 6 The Evolution and Crises of the Social Models in Italy and Spain
European Social Models From Crisis to Crisis

Sofia Pérez

Martin Rhodes

Oxford University Press

Traditionally identified as sharing a common “Southern model” of welfare capitalism and subject to a similar “Southern syndrome” of low employment and productivity growth, Italy and Spain are the largest of the Eurozone’s debtor countries to be swept up in its sovereign debt crisis. Despite similar starting points, we observe important contrasts in the development of the two social models, as well as dissimilar political contexts and macroeconomic constraints as they joined the Eurozone. These differences help explain their contrasting labor-market experiences, with Spain undergoing far greater employment creation and destruction than Italy. Social-model distinctions combined with different domestic political scenarios implied a much faster adoption of structural reforms in Spain compared to Italy. Italy was able to adapt its existing institutional arsenal—notably in work-time sharing during the crisis—to postpone the degree of labor-market upheaval experienced in Spain.

Keywords:   Italy, Spain, welfare capitalism, labor market, unemployment, work-time sharing, Eurozone, sovereign debt crisis, social model, debtor states

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