The article analyses how the changes in firm’s practices and public policies since the 1980s shaped the dynamics of labour market segmentation in France. First, considering firm’s human resources practices at the end of the 1990s, on the basis of statistical exploratory analysis, we were able to draw the contours of labour market structure as composed of an upper primary sector, a lower primary sector structured by renewed internal labour markets and a differentiated secondary sector. Second, the analysis of labour market policies puts high unemployment into the picture. Here, we show how public policies first aimed at preserving the 1970s pattern of internal labour markets but were subsequently focused on lowering labour cost and shortening the work-week. Regarding the labour market structure these policies finally yielded more differentiated segments rather than the promotion of transition to good jobs.
Gazier.B, Petit.H, Socio-Économie du Travail n°28 (Économies et Sociétés, tome XLI), juin 2007, p.1027-1056.