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The political economy of work security and flexibilityItaly in comparative perspective$
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Fabio Berton and Matteo Richiardi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429070

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429070.001.0001

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A monetary measure of worker (in)security

A monetary measure of worker (in)security

(p.131) Seven A monetary measure of worker (in)security
The political economy of work security and flexibility

Fabio Berton

Matteo Richiardi

Stefano Sacchi

Policy Press

In this chapter the overall level of security enjoyed by every individual worker is measured by summing, over the medium run and in monetary terms, all the benefits they receive, and namely net wages, net social benefits (unemployment, sickness and maternity benefits, mobility and short-time work allowances) and end-of-service allowance (deferred wages accrued during the period). The workers who get less than 60% of the median of the distribution of such monetary measure are then defined as insecure or precarious. In this way a definition of insecurity is provided which brings together statutory as well as empirical elements and which is independent on the type of contract one holds in a given moment in time. This allows empirical study of the relationship between flexibility and insecurity. As expected, a strong positive correlation is found between work flexibility and worker security, although the existence of insecure workers with standard contracts and of secure ones with non-standard arrangements is non-negligible. Moreover, in the absence of social assistance schemes, the efficacy of social insurance provisions to bring workers out of security is found to be limited.

Keywords:   Measure of insecurity, Monetary metrics, Mid-term analysis, Distributional analysis, Precariousness, Persistence in precariousness, Efficacy of Social Protection

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