Change is a permanent feature of market economies. What is new in today's world is the pace, breadth and depth of economic change and the industrial restructuring that this entails. Over the past two decades, industrialized countries have witnessed a level of industrial restructuring which, in its scope and tempo, has probably been without historic precedent.[...] A central question has become whether labour standards impede necessary changes in economic units, industrial structures, and employment groth, as the well-established current of neoliberal thinking would maintain or whether, on the contrary, labour standards and the institutions through which they are delivered constitute viable channels for industrial innovation, economic dynamism, and sustainable development, as another school of academics, policymakers and practitioners would hold. The present volume directly addresses this debate and contains a number of contributions which lay out the arguments for and against labour standards in relation to economic performance [...] provides analyses of industrial restructuring at the firm, industry, regional, national and international levels, and includes detailed case studies of experiences in Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, the United States, Canada and Australia [...] develops conceptual perspectives on labour standards, provides comparative overviews of their impact, and trace the evolution of labour standard-setting at the level of the European Community and in the international economy.
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