Flexibility and innovation in regional labour markets: The case of Lombardy
Purpose of this paper, which is a synthesis of a wider research project, is to show the impact of labour flexibility upon the employment structure of a prominent Italian region: Lombardy. The impact is especially investigated by focusing on the diffusion and the evolution of new "non standard" labour contracts. On one hand, Lombardy is leading, among all Italian regions, in the high-tech industries, in information and software services, in financial activities and other advanced services; on the other hand, the extension of non typical occupations (e.g. the temporary works and the "quasi-autonomous" positions) and, particularly, of the most innovative contracts (agency employment) is much wider than elsewhere. A comparison between the local labour market of a leading area and the labour market of the whole country, and an examination of the characteristics of non standard labour force may draw some light on a possible diffusion pattern of non typical employment in Italy. Moreover, the findings may provide the policymaker with useful hints for appropriate measures of institutional change.
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