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De erosie van het poldermodel

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The erosion of the Polder model

The central thesis of this article is that the formal institutions of the Dutch neo-corporatist model appear to display a remarkable stability and continuity, but that their actual functioning goes through a gradual transformation, whereby the system has essentially changed its character and has been eroded. First of all, the stability and continuity of the most important formal institutions of Dutch neo-corporatism since the Second World War is described. A number of developments are then outlined that indicate that the model is nevertheless subject to erosion in practice. These include a (contract) wage development that lags far behind productivity developments, the passing on of risks by companies to the employees and a growing number of collective agreements lacking the signature of the largest trade union(s). While the formal rules of the game have largely remained the same, the game of labor relations has changed dramatically in recent decades. As a result, the balance of power between trade unions and employers has changed strongly in favour of the employers.
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Keywords: Polder model; institutional change; neo-corporatism; social partners; trade unions

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2018

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