A New Concept of Full Employment
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceEconomic and Industrial Democracy, 18, 1, (1997), pp. 119-135
Article / Letter to editor
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Economische theorie en economisch beleid
Economic and Industrial Democracy
SubjectInternationalisering van Europa
The target of full employment depends upon the goals regarding labour force participation rates, the length of the work week and frictional unemployment. Although nearly all social groups agree that stronger economic growth would contribute most to solving the unemployment problem, the prospects for a return to the conditions prevailing before 1973 are poor. The article argues that a general saturation, demographic developments and environmental problems may cause bottlenecks for economic growth. Important changes in the labour supply and in the sectoral distribution of employment are eroding the full-time, full-year concept. In addition, advances in information technology make it imperative to re-examine the old concept of full employment. A new full employment concept is proposed that includes a legal right to a basic amount of employment, i.e. at least part-time employment, combined with a right to a (partial) basic income. It is argued that this new full employment concept is not only economically efficient, but socially desirable.
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