2013 - Spécial Edition / Hors-série 2013

Gendarmes and Work Transfers Since the 19th Century –Balancing Professional Duty and Personal Freedom

Arnaud-Dominique Houte

The Gendarmerie –a branch of The French Armed Forces– had a high rate of geographic mobility du-ring the 19th and 20th centuries. Mobility was one of the means available to officers for managing their men and this meant that professional transfers were a frequent occurrence in the course of a gen-darme’s career. These compulsory transfers were a source of considerable discontent on the part of the gendarmes concerned. Yet gendarmes also claimed the right to transfers for both personal and profes-sional reasons. The conflict between institutional constraints and personal interests meant that the issue of mobility in the Gendarmerie was a “power game” and therefore subject to constant negotiation. This situation produced a solid set of shared values, the predominating one being the granting of priority based on length of service. Above all, it provided a new forum for discussion and one that was particularly original for such a highly structured military institution.

Keywords : civil servant, public employment, social mobility, management

JEL : D73, J45

Article paru en français dans le numéro 127 (juillet-septembre 2011)

Local Civil Service : From Internal Mobility to Spatial Mobility ?

Émilie Biland

In contrast to their peers working for the State, the trajectories of local government employees have long been marked by stability instead of spatial mobility. This article re-examines this local hiring and career model and analyses its contemporary critiques, through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the personnel files of a small city. The rising importance of geographical mobility is concomitant with the increasing rarity of social mobility over the course of one’s working life, and yet the majority of this city’s public employees remain locally rooted. To understand the limited progress of the effort to make professional careers mobile, the article identifies the unequal costs and benefits of mobility ac-cording to generational, social, and gendered factors.

Keywords : local civil service, public employment, social mobility, spatial mobility, statistics, civil servant

JEL : D73, J45

Article paru en français dans le numéro 127 (juillet-septembre 2011)

Psychosocial Risks –How Can the Past Contribute to Current Debates ?

Nicolas Hatzfeld

The notion of psychosocial risk is relatively recent and has yet to be clearly defined. As no exact equi-valent in the past has been found, historians need to exercise caution and avoid falling into the trap of anachronisms and analogies. Instead, they need to focus on how the parties involved perceive psycho-social risk. In this article, we shall examine how over two centuries the notion of risk took on a parti-cular significance depending on specific events or periods. There is no standard approach to the topic of work-related risk and extra-professional risk –it does not correspond to any one phenomenon or a particular idea. Villermé vs. Taylorism, worker exhaustion vs. productivity… social policymakers, the State or experts provide us with elements of comparison which give us insight to the specific nature of this recent period which could be described as a labour crisis.

Keywords : psychosocial risks, history, fatigue, mental risks

JEL : I19, Y80

Article paru en français dans le numéro 129 (janvier-mars 2012)

Evaluating the Burden of Job Stress From the Public-Health and Economic Viewpoints : Perspectives and Methodological Pitfalls

Hélène Sultan-Taïeb, Isabelle Niedhammer

The evaluation of the burden of job stress on both the number of cases of diseases (morbidity and mor-tality) and the resulting economic costs are key questions in public health. However, work in this area remains only very sparse. We here underline the importance of such a calculation, and briefly present a feasible estimation method (that of attributable fractions) and its limitations. This method uses epi-demiological data on the relative risk of disease associated with a given job stress risk factor, and the prevalence of exposure to this factor. The associated difficulties revolve around the need for robust and consistent epidemiological data from prospective large-sample etiological studies. The resulting estimates of the evaluation of the burden of job stress provide useful information for decision-making regarding the allocation of resources for prevention purposes.

Keywords : job stress, burden of a disease, attributable fractions, costs, occupational exposure

JEL : I19, Y80

Article paru en français dans le numéro 129 (janvier-mars 2012)

The Remarkably Good Health of the Self-Employed

Élisabeth Algava, Catherine Cavalin, Sylvie Célérier

The category of “self-employed” workers covers situations which are quite heterogeneous. The only thing these workers seem to have in common is a similar pattern of working time characterized by ex-tensive working hours, flexitime, and a relative decisional autonomy. This article follows another common feature, their health status, which the self-employed declare to be better than that of salaried employees, even though on average the self-employed are a little older. This hypothesis is tested and validated from several angles in particular by excluding the influence of socio-professional categories which underlie the differences in employment status. The article also compares the consequences of illness on professional activity in the different professional situations considered. The results both con-firm the relatively better health of the self-employed as well as suggest a unique mode of articulation between health and work, justifying the continuation of studies on the health of this particular group so as to better understand its characteristics and to complement our knowledge of the general me-chanisms by which health and work constantly reflect on each other.

Keywords : health, self-employed workers, working hours, welfare system

JEL : I14, J23, L26

Article paru en français dans le numéro 132 (octobre-décembre 2012)

Tradesman : Skilled Specialist or Manager ?

Caroline Mazaud

The ideal-type of the division of labor in the trades is based on age groups, implying a shared practice of the trade and the mastery of the entire fabrication process by everyone in the workshop, be they employees or the boss. They all follow the same socio-professional progression : sharing a norm for the knowledge acquisition process, they subscribe to the same model of social success that culminates in setting themselves up in business. This unites them in a sort of mirror of identification, which is the basis of relations within a trade. The reality observed today, though, is distancing itself from this mo-del. Since the 1980s legislative and institutional contexts have transformed, expanding the boundaries of what a trade business may be and lowering the barrier for starting one, thus redefining the division of labor in the trades. Comparing “departures” from and “arrivals” to the trades, we observe a tenden-cy to separate management and productive activities, which reduces the shared practice of the trade between employees and employers. Additionally, tradespeople come from a wider range of back-grounds, leading to the coexistence of varied socio-professional career histories. Today the trades, once a pathway for social promotion for workers, have also become a safety net for career-changers from the middle class.

Keywords : tradesman, trades, management, work organization, social recruitment, career history

JEL : L22, M14, J24

Article paru en français dans le numéro 130 (avril-juin 2012)

Work Representation and Union Representativeness on the Frontier of Wage Earning : the Case of Direct Distribution of Printed Matter

Karel Yon

Is the reform of union representativeness a solution to the problem of union institutionalization ? The article addresses this question, which has been raised by those who participated in the reform as well as by labour specialists. Through the study of the newly built branch [branche professionnelle, an in-dustry-wide collective bargaining unit] of the direct distribution of printed material, it is shown that the reform cannot solve a problem which is incorrectly formulated. Union institutionalization is, indeed, a contradictory process, which separates workers and their representatives just as much as it links them together. This precision leads us to study the impact of the reform of union representa-tiveness in a more nuanced way. The mobilization of the rules of representativeness in the two firms under study shows that the reform has ambivalent effects in terms of unionization. The new regime of representativeness does not guarantee any tighter control by workers over their representatives. Howe-ver, it reinforces the interdependence between the respective arenas of the professional branch and the firm which are now connected through the electoral process.

Keywords : labour unions, industrial relations, institutionalization, law, representativeness, statutory recogni-tion, precariousness, direct distribution, workplace elections

JEL : J52, J53, K31

Article paru dans le numéro 131 (juillet-septembre 2012)

Have Male and Female Careers Converged ?

Fabienne Berton, Jean-Pierre Huiban, Frédérique Nortier Ribordy

This paper asks whether male and female careers have converged over the long run in France, and if so in which sense. Data from the EIC (Échantillon Inter-régimes de Cotisants) 2001 panel are analysed to construct the careers of French private-sector employees. Two cohorts are considered, the first compo-sed of individuals born in 1946 and the second of those born in 1962. Male and female careers are found to be very different in the first cohort. However, in the second cohort the careers of both sexes are both more similar to each other and different from those observed for men in the older cohort. Ca-reers are now frequently long, but also more often interrupted for both sexes. There continues to be a wage gap between men and women, but also a significant rise in the heterogeneity of careers within each sex.

Keywords : careers, wages, generations, gender gap, classification, panel data

JEL : J31, J62, J71, C23

Article paru en français dans le numéro 125 (janvier-mars 2001)

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