On the flexibility of atypical self-employed and the rigidity of official statistical data. The case of Greece

The general point of this article is that the usual conception of flexibility is very problematic for countries like Greece, where the main bulk of flexible employment is found outside or, in the margins, of the wage-earners. The blurring boundaries between the statuses of the wage-earners and the self-employed workers is a typical example of flexibility that is usually ignored by the official statistical data. In order to illustrate this phenomenon, the article uses the notion of « travail parasubordonné », which has its origins in Italy (lavoro parasubordinato). The whole argument is presented in three parts. The first part is devoted to the discussion of the evolution, the advantages and the problems associated with the notion of « travail parasubordonné ». In the second part evidence is presented from a field research on the employment of Greek engineers. The main outcome of the empirical research is that this atypical form of employment is increasing among young graduates. Finally, the third part discusses the question of public policy. The point here is that the power relations between the two contracting parts make redundant policies that aim to transform the atypical self-employed to wage-earners.

Liagouras.G, Socio-Économie du Travail n°23 (Économies et Sociétés, tome XXXVIII), janvier 2004, p.113-145.

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