Until now, the employment relations (ER) systems of countries have been differentiated by analysing the character of their formal economies, such as whether they are control, market or mixed economies (Arnold, 1996; Rohlf, 1998) or liberal or coordinated varieties of capitalism (Hall and Soskice, 2001). The starting point of this paper is that classifying ER systems by the character of their formal economies would be appropriate if most employment globally was in the formal economy. However, this is not the case. Some 60 per cent of the global workforce have their main employment in the informal sector (Jütting and Laiglesia, 2009), with many countries especially ...

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