The paper investigates the role of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the labor market. A PPP is a form of collaboration between private agents and the public sector in order to achieve certain objectives. Public private partnerships abound in areas such as infrastructure, health and education, but not in the labor market. The paper is in three parts: economic analysis of PPP; evidence from major PPPs in various countries (with descriptions of successful examples); and recommendations. The economic analysis suggests that PPPs have an important role to play in labor affairs. Public sector intervention in the labor market is justified by market failures and society's demand for equality, which the private sector cannot guarantee; and yet it also has undesirable side-effects. PPP is therefore an effective instrument for solving market and management failures arising from public provision of services. The best way to explain how PPPs work in practice is to describe the different types of PPP and present interesting cases in large (developed) countries. The examples confirm the variety of PPPs, depending on each country's economic circumstances and institutional framework. Based on this combination of economic theory and practical examples, we make some recommendations as to how the human resources industry should use PPPs to meet the challenges of a creative and changing environment. Terms such as "globalization", "flexicurity" and "personalisation" should be high on the agenda of policymakers and the HR industry in their efforts to create successful PPPs.
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