This introductory chapter sets up the main theme of this volume by presenting the two sides of the debate on labour market deregulation. Proponents of labour market deregulation argue that the closer we are to pure, undisturbed market clearing, the better shall we be able to optimise welfare, efficiency, and employment goals. Critics emphasize the risks of deregulation and potential advantages of regulation. In the real world, however, regulatory or deregulatory reform is dominated by partial and piecemeal flexibilisation.
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