The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Matias Vernengo, Esteban Perez Caldentey, Barkley J. Rosser Jr

Transitional Labour Markets: Theoretical Foundations and Policy Strategies

  • Günther SchmidEmail author
Living reference work entry

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In a normative perspective, the theory of transitional labour markets (TLM) considers the labour market as a social institution supporting and ensuring ‘full employment’ not only in terms of income security, particularly in times of unemployment (freedom from want), but also in terms of the capability to freely choose and to develop a career over the life course. This capability should equally hold for men and women, and it should also include unpaid but socially highly valued phases of work (freedom to act). TLM theory also argues for a new analytical approach to study the dynamics of labour markets: instead of concentrating on stocks (e.g. employment or unemployment rates), flows should come to the fore, in particular transitions from one employment status to the other, including combinations of work and education or work and unpaid care. This entry elaborates on these analytical and normative foundations of TLM theory and develops respective policy strategies to manage social risks related to the main critical life course transitions.


Transitional labour markets Non-standard employment Flexibility Security Labour market policy Social policy Europe 

JEL Classifications

J21 J38 J4 J48 J68 R28 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free University BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.WZB Berlin Social Science CentreBerlinGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Iain Begg

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