Employment and Labor Regulation in Industrial Countries

TitleEmployment and Labor Regulation in Industrial Countries
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsStone, Katherine V. W.
JournalInternational Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition
VolumeLaw-Econ Research Paper No. 14-07
Date Published2015///
Keywordscompensation and benefits, employment regulation, global production and trade regulations, globalization, international labor standards, labor standards

This encyclopedia entry addresses employment regulation – i.e., the legal rules and institutions that constitute, govern, and structure the employment relationship. Until recently, most industrial countries had employment regulation that provided most employees with job security and an adequate package of social protection. However, these regulations have been relaxed in recent years as employers have moved away from hiring employees into long-term employment relationships and have created many types of short-term employment relationships instead. The decline of the standard form of employment and the regulatory regime that supported it have given rise to a number of controversies involving employment regulation. In addition, the spread of global trade and the diffusion of production around the world have put pressure on industrial countries to dilute their employment regulation and lower their labor standards. However, as global production and trade continue to proliferate, social pressures are building for more labor law protections both in the developed and in the developing world. Hence employment regulation is not likely to disappear, but it will be transposed as part of the emerging international regime.