Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

CAFO Working Papers,
Linnaeus University, Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics

No 2006:7: Irreversibility of time, reversibility of choices? The Life-Course foundations of the Transitional Labour Markets approach

Dominique Anxo () and Christine Erhel ()
Additional contact information
Dominique Anxo: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), Postal: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), Dept of Economics and Statistics, School of Management and Economics, Växjö University , SE 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
Christine Erhel: Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne et CNRS, Centre d’Etudes de l’Emploi, France, Postal: Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, CES-MATISSE, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris France

Abstract: The article analyses the potential links between the life course approach and the Transitional Labour Market (TLM) perspective. It provides some empirical evidence of the role played by age and gender in individuals' situation on the labour market, as well as of the heterogeneity in course patterns in Europe, using available data about employment rates, but also transitions matrices. It develops the theoretical foundations of the life course approach, and shows how it can be articulated with the TLM framework. First, the life course approach provides some insights concerning the determinants of transitions, and their differentiation by age and gender. Second, it offers a conceptualization of time and irreversibility which helps understanding path dependency at both individual level, and underlines the importance of favouring the reversibility of choices through global policy reforms.

Keywords: Labour market; transitional labour markets; life course; age; gender

JEL-codes: J08; J20; J21

30 pages, February 20, 2006

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