Lecture: BERLUSCONI, MONTI, RENZI: Labor policy in the Italian economic crisis
A lecture by
Stefano Sacchi, University of Milan
Moderated by David Forgacs, NYU
Introduced by Ruth Ben-Ghiat, NYU
In an attempt to tackle with Italy's employment problems the new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has just introduced in Parliament a set of labor policy measures - collectively dubbed Italy's Jobs Act - involving changes in labor contracts and a reform of unemployment benefits. This is the latest in a seemingly endless train of labor reforms since the late 1990s, that have created a labor market now much more flexible than usually acknowledged. The talk focuses on Italy’s labor policy and policymaking since the onset of the Great Recession. In a first phase, in the last years of Berlusconi rule, distributive coalitions were forged to adjust to the economic crisis in a largely incremental way. Later on, under the Monti government and amidst the Eurozone crisis, a thorough labour market reform was approved with the aim of buying credibility on the international arena and restoring investors’ confidence in Italy. Renzi's projected reforms follow in this vein, but talk to domestic actors in an effort to revive animal spirits in a depressed country.