Tying Your Hands … and Getting Stuck: The Italian Political Economy under the "External Constraint" Regime
Scholar in Residence Lectures 2015-2016
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About 35 years ago, the Italian economic and intellectual elites decided that the country’s prosperity hinged on tying it tightly to the European mast. The exchange rate regime became inflexible – a process culminating in the single European currency – while the labor market regime became increasingly more flexible. Three and a half decades after, it seems fair to say that the composite of reform has failed. Inflexible exchange rates, combined with an outdated specialization profile, have hindered the expansion of exports, while labor market flexibilization has negatively affected labor productivity. In turn, insufficient growth of nominal income has exacerbated the public debt problem. Both Italy and Europe are in serious need of a rethink.
Lucio Baccaro is the MPIfG Scholar in Residence for the 2015/2016 winter term. Lucio Baccaro (PhD MIT 1999) is Professor of sociology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where he teaches courses in economic and political sociology, comparative political economy, epistemology, and research design and methods. Previously he taught at Case Western Reserve University and MIT, and held senior research positions in the International Labour Organization. His main research focus is the political economy of employment relations and labor market institutions. His current work examines the trajectories of post-Fordist growth models, the extent and consequences of liberalization in advanced countries, and the determinants of precarious employment contracts in European labor markets. Another stream, based on experimental research, analyzes the effects of deliberations on citizens' willingness to extend political rights to resident aliens.