Legal Origins, Labour Law and the Regulation of Employment Relations

30 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2010 Last revised: 4 May 2010

See all articles by Sean Cooney

Sean Cooney

University of Melbourne - Law School

Peter G. Gahan

University of Melbourne - Department of Management and Marketing

Richard Mitchell

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

A major question within comparative employment relations and comparative law has been how best to explain differences in the form that regulation takes in different national settings. Over the course of the last decade and a half, an explanatory theory of cross-national differences in regulatory arrangements in a wide range of economic and social domains, including labour law, has emerged. This approach emphasises the role of a country’s ‘legal origins’ in determining its regulatory style and, hence, its economic and social characteristics. Legal origins has proved to be one of the most influential theories in comparative economics, political science and law. It has, however, also proved highly controversial. For example, the following questions arise. To what extent can the insights from the legal origins theory be applied to understand cross-national differences in labour market regulation? To what extent can these differences provide an adequate basis to understand divergent outcomes in labour management practices and employment relations in different countries? Are such differences correlated with employment relations outcomes? And to what extent are legal origins effects disappearing over time? The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the theory of legal origins and its application to the study of labour law and employment relations.

Keywords: legal origins, employment relations, labour law

JEL Classification: K31, P51

Suggested Citation

Cooney, Sean and Gahan, Peter G. and Mitchell, Richard James, Legal Origins, Labour Law and the Regulation of Employment Relations (December 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1544032 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1544032

Sean Cooney

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Peter G. Gahan (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Department of Management and Marketing ( email )

5th Floor Babel Building
Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61390359740 (Phone)
+61393494293 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.managementmarketing.unimelb.edu.au/who/staff.cfm?StaffId=241

Richard James Mitchell

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
Australia

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