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Is Job Security an Insider Privilege? How labor law shapes the public opinion on job security among Latin American labor market insiders and outsiders

Academic & Research
The CEU Campus
Thursday, November 24, 2016, 5:30 pm – 7:10 pm

PERG Seminar with Sarah Berens


/ In this paper we contribute to the increasing scholarship on labor market divides in Latin America by linking it to the politics of labor

laws. Following the insider-outsider logic established for the context of advanced industrial states we expect labor market outsiders, i.e. unemployed or informal workers, to benefit less from a more rigid labor law and, thus, to express less support for regulation.

Using data from the Latinobarometer for 18 Latin American countries we find that collective labor laws benefit large segments of the population, but they also increase the divide between formal and informal sector workers. While formal sector workers indeed

perceive themselves as more protected by current labor law, informal sector workers feel left behind. In a second step, we investigate how far discontent with labor law translates into political activities, studying the individual’s vote choice in Argentina.

We conclude that attitudes on labor law depend on the institutional setup of the labor market and have important political consequences.

Sarah Berens

is a research fellow at the University of Cologne, with research interest in the fields of comparative political economy, development studies, social policy and redistribution, and taxation. You can read more about her ongoing research here.