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Capitalist Divergence and Labour Market Flexibility in the Czech Republic and Hungary: A Comparative Analysis of Standard and Non-Standard Employment

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Keune, Maarten

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Abstract The article presents a comparative analysis of standard & nonstandard employment (part-time employment, fixed-term employment, self-emp1oyment, & employment without a contract) in the Czech Republic & Hungary. It examines what the weight of the various types of employment is, & to what extent standard employment has the same meaning in the two countries. Also, it analyzes what gender, age groups, educational groups, & branches are particularly exposed to flexibility, & what the relationship is between flexibility & income. Finally, it discusses to what extent the differences observed between the two countries are linked to broader labor market developments & to diverse approaches towards the creation of postsocialist capitalism. The analysis shows converging as well as diverging tendencies between the two countries. They have similar levels of standard employment, but standard employment is constituted differently in terms of income, hours worked, & working time patterns. Also, the composition of nonstandard forms of employment & their relationship to income is different. In both countries, standard employment is low in the sectors of agriculture & trade & services, as well as for the young, the old, & the lowly educated. Women have higher rates of standard employment than men. The Czech labor market is however much more 'egalitarian' & the Hungarian one more 'polarized,' while employment is most precarious in Hungary. The differences between the two countries are linked to the stronger market orientation of the Hungarian postsocialist reforms, as well as to the fact that during the 1990s aggregate employment in Hungary fell much more strongly than in the Czech Republic.
Classification Sociology of Work, Industrial Sociology, Industrial Relations; Employment Research
Free Keywords Part Time Employment; Self Employment; Temporary Employment; Labor Market; Postcommunist Societies; Capitalism; Czech Republic; Hungary; Crosscultural Differences
Document language English
Publication Year 2003
Page/Pages p. 795-813
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 39 (2003) 6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications