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The Political Economy of the Service Transition$
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Anne Wren

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657285.001.0001

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The Service Transition and Women’s Employment

The Service Transition and Women’s Employment

Chapter:
(p.147) 4 The Service Transition and Women’s Employment
Source:
The Political Economy of the Service Transition
Author(s):

Moira Nelson

John D. Stephens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657285.003.0004

This chapter explores the effect of social policy and labor market regulation on employment of women and in services. The authors—Moira Nelson and John Stephens—argue that in the current economic environment, attaining high employment rates and therefore sustainable welfare states depends on expanding women’s employment. Their analysis focuses on the impact of various policies in seventeen OECD countries. They find evidence of the existence of two partisan “paths” to high services and female employment. The first, “social democratic,” path rests in part on high levels of female employment in public service sectors. Of considerable interest, however, is their finding that several features of social democratic welfare states—high short-term unemployment replacement rates, high sickpay, high spending on active labor market policy, low wage dispersion, and moderate to weak employment protection legislation—are also associated with high levels of employment in private services. The alternative “Liberal” route to high service and female employment on the other hand is a more exclusively private sector route and rests on easily recognizable features of Liberal regimes, such as low union density rates and low taxes. Finally, and of significant policy relevance, the authors find that several characteristics of Christian democratic regimes—generous long-term unemployment benefits, high social security taxes, strong employment protection, and low spending on active labor market policies and daycare—hold negative effects for employment in both public and private service sectors, with corresponding negative effects on female employment.

Keywords:   social policy, labor market regulation, women’s employment, service employment, welfare state, partisanship, social democratic regimes, liberal regimes, Christian democratic regimes, service transition

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