Giovanni Abbiati

Instability, Precariousness, Insecurity: What Do We Mean when We Talk About «Job Insecurity»?

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In scientific literature there is a great conceptual confusion about the definition of «job insecurity». In fact, jobs can be insecure for three main reasons: because they are subjectively felt insecure; because they are short-term by contract; or, finally, because of short tenure. Following recent research on Italian labour market, we show how useful is to keep these dimensions separate to track and understand the evolution of labour market dynamics. For each insecurity dimension an overview of the literature as well as original analytical insights over the topics considered are provided. The analysis is addressed to stimulate further research, presenting and using indicators for the study of job insecurity that are rarely used in Italian literature. Finally, all along the article we compare our results with mainstream sociological theories about job insecurity, showing how the use of empirical data allow us to render a more realistic and many-sided image of western countries labour market.


  • JEL Classification: J21 - Labor Force and Employment
  • Size
  • and Structure
  • J41: Labor Contracts
  • A14 - Sociology of Economics


Article first page

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