The Liberalized Postal Service




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The Liberalized Postal Service







A study of the effects of liberalization on

postal service employment and working conditions


Master thesis | Annemieke Bervoets

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The Liberalized Postal Service


A study of the effects of liberalization on

postal service employment and working conditions


logo erasmus


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Faculty of Social Sciences

Department of Public Administration

Master International Public Management and Policy


Annemieke Bervoets

Student number: 321414


Supervisor: Dr. S. Van de Walle

2nd Reader: Dr. M. Haverland

Date: 13 July 2012

Word count: 29.848


Abstract



This thesis researches the effect of liberalization on postal sector employment and working conditions between 1990 and 2010 in ten EU member states. The five legally liberalized countries used in this thesis are Sweden, Finland, United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. The non-liberalized countries used are Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland and Austria. Three indicators have been used to determine the extent of liberalization, namely entry regulation, the presence of postal competitors and state ownership. Moreover, two control variables have been introduced in order to avoid automatically associating any difference to liberalization. These two control variables are the digital age and labour market flexibility. Indicators for the digital age are internet usage and letter mail volume. The indicator for labour market flexibility is hiring and firing regulations. This research has shown that all assessed variables cannot explain the developments in employment and working conditions in the postal sector. More characteristics of liberalization turned out not to be related to more precariousness in postal sector employment and working conditions. Indeed, also countries without liberalization present in the postal sector showed increased precariousness in employment and working conditions. Also correlation between the control variables and postal sector employment and working conditions could not be proven. Based on the results and arguments presented in this research, it is likely that liberalization has not had a significant effect on employment and working conditions in the postal sector.

Acknowledgements



I would like to thank several people for supporting me during the process of writing this thesis. First, my thanks go out to my thesis supervisor, Steven van de Walle, and my second thesis supervisor, Markus Haverland, for their useful comments that have helped improving this thesis. Also, many thanks go out to my family for their support throughout this process and their unconditional love and faith in me. I would like to thank my mother for listening to me when I felt frustrated, my father for motivating me when I wanted to give up and my brother Siebe for making me laugh when I felt like crying. Without them, this process would have been much harder. Special thanks also go out to Ies en Riet, for their never ending interest in me and the wonderful Sunday afternoons that helped me relax during the most stressful weeks. Lastly, I would like to thank anyone that has showed interest and support during the completion of this project.
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