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date: 29 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Heidi Gottfried explores the spread since the 1990s of insecure and non-standard employment that now comes close to one quarter of employment in nearly all OECD countries. Gottfried argues that conventional explanations such as globalization or risk society theory cannot explain the uneven growth and distribution of non-standard employment across OECD countries. Instead, Gottfried fuses the varieties of capitalism and worlds of welfare capitalism institutional theories with an understanding of how each national welfare and production regime also embodies a distinct reproductive bargain determining the extent to which care work and social reproduction are carried by private households or shifted to the market or state. The evolution of these distinct bargains, plus changes in gender relations, tell us much about the relative inclusion and exclusion of different groups in non-standard employment. These theoretical arguments are developed through a contextualized comparison of two coordinated market economies (Japan and Germany) with two liberal market economies (UK and USA).

Keywords: insecure employment, non-standard employment, gender, labour markets, institutional theory, insecurity theories, varieties of capitalism

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