The European Journal of Comparative Economics

ISSN: 1824-2979

EJCE Year: 2012, August. Volume: 9 - Issue: 2

Stakeholder Protection, Varieties of Capitalism, and Long-Term Unemployment

by Alberto Chilosi

Start page: 197 - End page: 228

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Legal Systems, Varieties of Capitalism, Employment Protection, Long-term Unemployment

Jel code: P10; P48; G34; K22; K31

Abstract:

In the literature the issue of the protection of stakeholder interests (of employees in particular) is usually considered in a static context: how should the institutions of corporate governance be shaped having regard to already existing firms, conforming, in particular, to some subjective criteria of fairness and fair play. It is remarkable that no attention is paid to the basic fact that a company in order to exist must first be established, and that the founders-owners are the original shareholders. Moreover not necessarily the most appropriate protection of stakeholder interests can be provided by the institutions and practice of corporate governance, specific kinds of legal provision may be more suitable. But rather than substitution complementarity prevails between different legal provisions protecting the interests of stakeholders (in particular employees) and the stakeholder protection afforded through the institutions of capital governance, conforming to the logic of the different "varieties of capitalism". An aspect of the latter that is emphasized in the paper, and is usually overlooked, are the much higher rates of long-term unemployment associated with the continental European variety as compared with the Liberal Market variety of the Anglo-Saxon tradition. But the Scandinavian Social-Democratic market model gives the best of both worlds: low long-term unemployment rates and incidence, together with high degrees of employment protection.

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