The Third Function of Labour Law: Distributing Labour Market Opportunities among Workers

Guy Mundlak

in The Idea of Labour Law

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693610
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729744 | DOI:
The Third Function of Labour Law: Distributing Labour Market Opportunities among Workers

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In addition to the conventional emphasis on labour law's function in distributing power between labour and capital, labour law is argued to influence the distribution of rents, power, rights, resources and economic risks between workers as well. Recognizing that labour law has multiple distributive implications downgrades the centrality of the labour-capital cleavage in accounting for the social and economic organization of society and in intra-firm interactions. It throws light on another dimension that can explain preferences and norms and be used to draw attention to possible normative tradeoffs. This observation resonates with a critical analysis of labour law’s outcomes, but does not merit criticism of labour market institutions and regulatory intervention, as the distributive implications are innate to the functioning of the labour market. The chapter demonstrates the intra-labour distributive implications in collective bargaining, employment discrimination, and regulatory interventions in the labour market.

Keywords: labour law; collective bargaining; insiders-outsiders; labour market regulation; employment discrimination; distributive impact; functional analysis

Chapter.  7395 words. 

Subjects: Employment and Labour Law

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