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Journal Article

Employment, Consumption, Debt, and European Industrial Relations Systems


Crouch,  Colin
Auswärtiges Wissenschaftliches Mitglied, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Crouch, C. (2012). Employment, Consumption, Debt, and European Industrial Relations Systems. Industrial Relations, 51(s1), 389-412. doi:10.1111/j.1468-232X.2012.00684.x.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-6B19-9
Comparisons between British and German employment performance in recent years have characterized the two countries as, respectively, finding a formula of high employment based on high-consumption expenditure financed by household debt, and remaining tied to an external trade and low-consumption model that no longer creates jobs. Placing these two countries in a wider perspective of all European Union member states and the United States reveals a different picture. Two different patterns seem associated with high employment levels: a northern European one of low-consumption expenditure and high household debt, and an Anglophone one of high-consumption expenditure and high household debt. Links for these contrasting models are sought in their very different social policy and industrial relations systems. Questions are raised concerning the role of household debt in the northern European cases, and the lack of any clear patterns differentiating much of western, southern and central Europe.