Convergence Without Hard Criteria: Does EU Soft Law Affect Domestic Unemployment Protection Schemes?

University of Salzburg Working Paper No. 2012-09

36 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2012

See all articles by Jörg Paetzold

Jörg Paetzold

University of Salzburg

Olaf van Vliet

Leiden University - Leiden Law School; Leiden University - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

The European Employment Strategy (EES) aims to promote convergence of domestic labour market policies by soft law instruments. Previous studies on the impact of the EES are mainly focused on active labour market policies. The present study aims at explaining cross national variation in national passive labour market policies and unemployment benefit levels. Building on the most recent measures and pooled time series data, the empirical findings reveal the presence of a convergence process among the most advanced economies regarding passive labour market policy efforts, with the EES fostering this trend even further. Furthermore, our findings support the argument that the EES creates pressure on governments to reform domestic labour market policies, but this pressure varies across countries and over time. The results suggest that the recommendations from the European Council have contributed to unemployment benefit reform processes.

Keywords: Passive labour market policies, convergence, European Employment Strategy, Europeanization, Open Method of Coordination, welfare state

JEL Classification: H53, J68

Suggested Citation

Paetzold, Jörg and van Vliet, Olaf, Convergence Without Hard Criteria: Does EU Soft Law Affect Domestic Unemployment Protection Schemes? (November 2012). University of Salzburg Working Paper No. 2012-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2179888 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2179888

Jörg Paetzold (Contact Author)

University of Salzburg ( email )

Olaf Van Vliet

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

Steenschuur 25 PO Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.leiden.edu/organisation/taxlawandeconomics/economics/staff/vliet.html

Leiden University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.leiden.edu/organisation/taxlawandeconomics/economics/staff/vliet.html

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