The project was launched to explore policy measures adopted in selected Member States of the EU to combat labour market segmentation (LMS). Specific objectives included deriving key lessons on what works and what does not to tackle LMS within certain contexts as well as drawing conclusions on measures' transferability. The ambition of the analysis was to go beyond the most typical interventions that had been used to tackle LMS in the past, namely reforms of employment protection legislation. Such exploratory approach was applied to complement existing studies, which focused on the regulation of contractual employment arrangements and disregarded relevant policy measures of other types.
To answer the main research question on what policy measures are the most effective to combat LMS, the following approach was adopted:
- Overview of key policy developments and initiatives that have been introduced in the EU since 2008 and have addressed LMS: Aimed to set the scene for the in-depth analysis of 11 policy measures in selected Member States, the overview shed light on the overarching European policy framework and national policy trends as regards LMS. The overview was based on desk research and a sample of interviews with EU-level policymakers and experts.
- Theoretical framework: Aimed to set the basis for research, particularly selection and in-depth analysis of 11 policy measures, it presented the hypotheses on what impacts different policy measures have on LMS within certain contexts. The framework was developed through desk research and structured around key components of the context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) model.
- Selection of countries and policy measures: A list of 31 policy measures from Germany, France, Spain and the UK was compiled based on desk research. 11 policy measures were selected out of the long list for the in-depth analysis, following the biggest-variety principle and focusing on the initiatives most closely related to LMS and well-documented in available evaluation studies.
- In-depth analysis of 11 policy measures: Selected policy measures were described in detail and analysed in line with the CMO model.
- Additional desk research: To broaden the scope of analysis beyond the 11 measures selected, verify the conclusions of case studies within broader policy contexts, collect more evidence on the effectiveness of the policy types explored, initiatives implemented in four selected countries and similar to the ones analysed in depth were reviewed.
- Comparative analysis and reporting: The comparative analysis built on 11 policy measures studied in depth. It comprised a descriptive overview of the cases and a discussion on lessons learned. The latter was structured by policy type and complemented by inputs from additional desk research. A wide range of policy measures was covered to illustrate whether and how different types of initiatives may help to reduce LMS.
During the course of the project, 10 case study reports and an overview report were prepared. Final study results were used by Eurofound for its working paper on LMS.