Labor Market Institutions

IZA’s research team “Labor Market Institutions” adopts an international comparative perspective: Despite progressive economic integration in Europe and globally as well as rapid technological change, national arrangements of labor market institutions and social policies remain highly diverse. National employment systems, made up of institutions at different levels, ranging from legislation to collectively agreed arrangements and firm-level practices, continue to bring about notably different quality and quantity of jobs, and reforms tend to follow peculiar paths.

Against the backdrop of persistent institutional diversity, our research focusses on three guiding questions:

  • How do institutional arrangements and reforms influence structures and dynamics of labor markets?
  • How can we explain different paths of institutional change, i.e. in relation to the policy challenges raised by inequality, structural or technological change or open borders?
  • How do labor market institutions at different levels interact, in particular between supranational or European regulation and national labor market institutions?



Prof. Dr. Werner Eichhorst (Team Leader)

Completed and ongoing projects

Reforms of Employment Protection in Nine European Countries

Framework contract with the Federal Labor Ministry (BMAS)


Recent Publications

Eichhorst, Werner; Marx, Paul (2021): How Stable is Labour Market Dualism? Reforms of Employment Protection in Nine European Countries. European Journal of Industrial Relations 27 (1).

Eichhorst, Werner; Marx, Paul; Rinne, Ulf (2020): Maneuvering through the Crisis: Labor Market and Social Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Intereconomics 55 (6), 375–380.

Eichhorst, Werner; Kalleberg, Arne; Portela de Souza, André; Visser, Jelle (2019): Designing Good Labour Market Institutions: How to Reconcile Flexibility, Productivity and Security? IZA Discussion Paper No. 12482.

Eichhorst, Werner; Marx, Paul (2019): Der Wandel der Arbeitswelt als Herausforderung für die Sozialpolitik, in: Obinger, Herbert; Schmidt, Manfred G. (eds.): Handbuch Sozialpolitik, Wiesbaden, 21. 

Eichhorst, Werner; Rinne, Ulf (2019): Erfolge der Grundsicherung nicht gefährden: Weiterentwicklung statt neuer Antworten. Wirtschaftsdienst, 4-2019, 240-242.

Eichhorst, Werner; Buhlmann, Florian (2018): Wie gesellschaftlicher Fortschritt die Arbeitsorganisation prägt, in: Stadler, Wolfgang (ed.): Mehr als Algorithmen - Digitalisierung in Gesellschaft und Sozialer Arbeit, Weinheim, 49-56.

Eichhorst, Werner et al. (2018): The Future of Work - Good Jobs for All, in: International Panel on Social Progress (ed.): Rethinking Society for the 21st Century - Volume 1: Socio-Economic Transformations, Cambridge, Chapter 7.

Eichhorst, Werner; Hassel, Anke (2018):  The German Exception: Welfare Protectionism Instead of Retrenchment, in: Theodoropoulou; Sotiria (eds.), Labour Market Policies in the Era of Pervasive Austerity - A European Perspective, Bristol, 115-139.

Eichhorst, Werner; Marx, Paul; Broughton, Andrea; de Beer, Paul; Linckh, Carolin; Bassani, Giulia (2018): Mitigating Labour Market Dualism: Single Open-Ended Contracts and Other Instruments. Study requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Brussels.

Eichhorst, Werner; Rinne, Ulf (2018): Promoting Youth Employment in Europe: Evidence-Based Policy Lessons, in: Malo, Miguel Ángel; Moreno Mínguez, Almudena (eds.): European Youth Labour Markets - Problems and Policies, Berlin, 189-204.

Eichhorst, Werner; Sommer, Eric; Wozny, Florian (2018): Wissenschaftliche Auswertung über Theorien und Instrumente für ein Inklusives Wachstum in Deutschland. Forschungsbericht 501 - Bundeministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, Berlin.

Hadjivassiliou, Kari P.; Tassinari, Arianna; Eichorst, Werner; Wozny, Florian (2018): How Does the Performance of School-to-Work Transition Regimes Vary in the European Union?, in: O'Reilly, Jacqueline; Leschke, Janine; Ortlieb, Renate; Seeleib-Kaiser, Martin; Villa, Paolo (eds.): Youth Labor in Transition: Inequalities, Mobility, and Policies in Europe, Oxford,  DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190864798.003.0003.

Tobsch, Verena; Eichhorst, Werner (2018): Germany: Social Insurance for Artists and Writers, in: OECD (ed.): The Future of Social Protection - What Works for Non-standard Workers?, Paris, 123-143.

Eichhorst, Werner; Rinne, Ulf (2017): The European Youth Guarantee: A Preliminary Assessment and Broader Conceptual Implications. CESifo forum 18 (2), 34-38.