27 - 28 February 2014

Financialization and Labor


The purpose of this conference is to bring together leading international scholars from different perspectives (economics, political science, sociology, industrial relations) to further develop an emerging research area:  the dynamics of financialization and their impact on the employment relations and industrial relations at the company level. A special focus will be on developments since the financial crisis.

Financialization is a new conceptual approach to analyzing the growing role and influence of financial markets on a wide variety of economic and social phenomena. Researchers have made considerable process in identifying macroeconomic and financial system changes associated with financialization, including the increasing size of the financial system relative to the “real” economy, the creation and growth of financial markets for an increasing number of products. These researchers have shown that an increasing risk orientation on financial markets and the securitization and sale of a range of financial products including high-risk mortgages, consumer loans, and private equity finance directly contributed to the financial crisis.  So far, relatively little work has been done linking these trends with changes in labor relations and the employment relations at the firm level. There is also need  for cross-national comparative analysis. Researchers  working on human resources and industrial relations have recognized the significance of a greater orientation of firms to financial markets (e.g. “shareholder value”) for employment relations, but  this work has not yet been systematically analyzed from the perspective of financialization.