Italy: limited adaptation of an atypical system

Matteo Jessoula and Patrik Vesan

in Regulating the Risk of Unemployment

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592296
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731471 | DOI:
Italy: limited adaptation of an atypical system

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Italy has traditionally been an atypical and underdeveloped unemployment protection system, with employment crises conventionally being tackled mostly via macroeconomic and monetary policies and cushioned by strong familialism. In the last two decades, however, this approach has come under pressure, resulting in the abandonment of Keynesianism and a shift towards more flexible labour markets. This called for the development of a more effective system of unemployment protection as well as a move towards active measures. The chapter presents changes along these two dimensions, arguing that reforms aimed at adapting the system to increasingly ‘post-industrial’ conditions have been only very partially accomplished. This is the consequence of an incomplete learning process, resulting from a variety of unfavourable conditions for reform: scarce economic resources, cognitive factors, and path-dependent dynamics. Furthermore, when important reforms have been introduced, implementation has often been weak as a result of low institutional capabilities and the persistence of traditional organizational practices.

Keywords: Italy; unemployment insurance; familialism; labour reduction; employment services; incomplete learning

Chapter.  9756 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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