lördag 29 juni 2013

Camphuis avhandling om holländska socioekonomiska rådets lönepolitik

Willem Camphuis har skrivit en riktig bjässe till doktorsavhandling -- 595 sidor -- om det nederländska socioekonomiska rådet och deras rådgivning till regeringen 1950--1993: Tussen Analyse en opportuniteit: De SER als adviseur voor de loon- en prijspolitiek. Därmed finns det i alla fall tre böcker som jag känner till om sådana råd: Marita Estors Der Sozial-Ȯkonomische Rat der niederländischen Wirtschaft: Institution und Funktion eines zentralen und repräsentativen Wirtschaftsrates als Problem der Organisation der Wirtschaftspolitik från 1965, Bernd Marins Die Paritätische Kommission: aufgeklärter Technokorporatismus in Österreich från 1982, och så Camphuis.

 Tyvärr är schabraket, som finns som pdf att ladda ner, på holländska men där finns i alla fall en sammanfattning på engelska.
"The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the actual significance of the SER as (mandatory) consultant to the government on the basis of qualitative research of the available sources. Since 1950, the SER has delivered several hundreds of recommendations, varying strongly in their content and ambition. This is why it was necessary to select a representative theme inside the advisory duty of the SER which offered a sound and implementable view into the influence of the SER as government advisor. The choice fell on wage and pricing policy.
Good sources were available in this field, not only from the SER itself, but also from other relevant organs and institutes (Council of ministers and its sub councils, ministries, Dutch Labour Foundation etc.). A total of 28 SER-recommendations over the period 1950-1993 were selected, the larger part of the recommendations concerning wage and pricing policy which were drafted by the SER during that period of time. After 1993 the SER did not draft any more recommendations of interest in this field, because of the generally accepted withdrawal of government intervention from wage and pricing policy. The search for the true significance of the SER-recommendations in practice, resembled a chronological investigation, because every SER-recommendation went through an entire course of development, starting from the request for advice by the government (or on the SER’s own initiative) until the moment that the government explicitly declared themselves on what the SER had advised. In practice, the events during the preliminary phase of the final recommendation, revealed to be important to the government’s ultimate course of action. In this study, every piece of advice has been given a qualification with regard to its influence on the government policy. /.../
The results regarding the influence of the 28 recommendations regarding wage and pricing policy in the period 1950-1993 researched in this study is as follows. Seven recommendations were determined to have had zero influence. The influence of seven recommendations referred to a limited number of issues. Six recommendations were of influence in different parts and the conclusion for three recommendations was that they were clearly of influence. Five recommendations revealed to be (almost) wholly decisive to the policy pursued or the decision made.
We determined that in the fifties, the SER-recommendations on wage policy and wage movements were of nearly no importance to the governmental policy pursued. The Drees governments (1948-1958) were strongly led by their own convictions about what was all or not necessary and were guarded towards and suspicious of the SER, which they did not hold in high esteem, especially in the initial stages of it existence. In these first years of its existence, the SER was in actual fact ignored. That the SER was divided in the fifties, got involved in scuffles about the required work rate and leaking of confidential information, did not contribute to the increase of authority.
The government’s suspicion of the SER manifested itself stronger as the concerns about the national economy (Korea crisis, threat of wage explosion) increased. During the post-war reconstruction of the Netherlands, the basic attitude of the consecutive governments was that there was constructive cooperation between the government and businesses wherever possible. But where they felt the economic and political situation did not permit this, these governments unrelentingly pulled the reins. Maintaining direction of the socio-economic development by the governments, for that matter, was becoming more and more difficult as the economic situation improved in the fifties. Under influence of the increasing economic situation, different SER-recommendations got jammed between the fighting parties in the Council or ran up against a government that did not wish to relent wage policy power any faster than necessary.
The sixties show a change where the influence of SER advice is concerned. The confessional-liberal governments gradually cut back the planned wage policy from 1959, though this was not according to plan to say the least. With the change of authorities in the field of wage base determination, a shift of power toward businesses took place, helped by the further improvement of the economic situation. And though the business community remained divided about the structure and interpretation of wage base determination, the SER frequently formed a front that pushed the government into a defensive attitude. Eventually, the business community overplayed its hand in 1966, causing the government to finally intervene harshly. An agreement on wage base determination in the Council finally caused the government to follow the business community once again. The government had an intervention tool up their sleeve for the Wages Act (1970) and they found out the consequences to their cost; the radicalised trade unions shut down all central deliberation and the SER turned out to be the last stage left for the restart of deliberations through an artificial recommendation at the beginning of the seventies.
During the advisory process on the pricing legislation and the subsequent legislation processes (1960-1961 and 1964), the SER-recommendations revealed to be a parliament weapon. /.../
The seventies show a mixed image with regard to the influence of SER-recommendations. Polarisation in politics and in the business community increased further, limiting the number of compromises in the Council to a minimum. The declining economy reinforced the long-fought free wage policy to remain an illusion, because the subsequent governments often fell back on governmental intervention. The image that was conjured up in some publications, that of the SER having meant nothing to government policy in the seventies, requires some qualification. In the case of the Den Uyl cabinet (1973-1977) the majorities in the Council provided the government with the necessary support for the realisation of the intended increases of the minimum wages, and so the Council proved to be an important pillar of the policy. As part of its financial-economic programme Bestek ’81, the Van Agt cabinet (1977-1981) was determined to curb the development of the minimum wage; when the SER did not sufficiently join these government intentions, the government simply ignored the divided SERrecommendations. Despite the Council being an ineffective scene of battle in this period, this was no reason to dispute its right to existence neither for the government nor the parliament.
The period 1982-1993 offers a mixed image, as did the seventies, with regard to the importance of the SER-recommendations on wage and pricing policy. The first two Lubbers cabinets (1982-1989) set in a firm reorganisation of the Dutch economy. The goals of this policy were guiding to the government and the coalition parties bound firmly to the coalition agreement. The SER-recommendations were made subservient to this. If so desired, the government was more than willing to use the SER-recommendations as legitimisation to the parliament if it (partially) agreed with the contents. But like the Drees cabinets, the Lubbers cabinets made no mistake that they too could manage without the SER and its recommendations. /.../
The SER, once based on the political ideology of Catholics and social democrats, was under threat of losing its advisory duty on the grounds of efficiency considerations. Initially (1993), the business community managed to maintain the SER’s advisory duty to the government, but this was finally lost in 1995 through an amendment from the liberal MP B.M. de Vries passed in parliament."
-- politikerna följde inte SER:s rekommendationer om de riskerade att förlora sina parlamentsplatser på kuppen
-- bilden i litteraturen att SER:s råd bara spelar roll när de har hel konsensus, är onyanserad. Sant att med total dissensus får SER:s råd inget inflytande, men i övrigt är det mer komplext: också delvis oeniga SER-råd kunde få inflytande, och total enighet var ingen garanti för inflytande
-- regeringen var laglift bunden att konsultera SER och gjorde därför det även när de inte var seriöst intresserade. Framför allt mellan 1963 och 1982 var konsulteringen ofta en "rituell dans" (s 584)
-- SER:s rekommendationer fick större inflytande när de hade stöd av en mäktig partner, t ex ILO, och när de fick jobba i fred från medierna (s 584)

Överlag, menar Camphuis, har betydelsen av SER överdrivits:
"the actual influence of the SER as advisor to wage and pricing policy in the period 1950-1993 was no more than moderate on the whole, though clear changes in time can be pointed out. Taking into account the place of wage and pricing policy in the entire socio-economic policy in this period, we can also conclude that the influence of the SER as a whole, as it is ascribed to the Council in scientific literature and in journalism, is exaggerated and far too generalising. In principle, the SER wanted to contribute constructively to the socio-economic problems that it was presented with, but as an advisory organ that consisted for two-thirds of advocates as well as one-third Crown-appointed members to whom strict neutrality was actually an impossible task, it had to steer a middle course continually between logical analysis on the one hand and political opportunity on the other hand. This was one of the reasons that, depending on the situation in the period reviewed, the SER was at times a powerless spectator, a player, sometimes even an important player, but seldom a key player." (585)

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