Table of Contents

Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe

Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe

Labour Markets in Transition

Edited by Ruud Muffels

This book seeks to gain a better understanding of the paradoxical relationship between the alleged need of European labour markets to become more flexible and the way in which national policies pursue this aim without jeopardising existing high standards of income and employment security. Special interest is devoted to the way in which countries opt for different policy routes to cope with the aim of balancing flexibility and security goals in their respective labour market and social protection policies. The contributions in this book all try to unveil the particular changes or transitions occurring in the various labour markets, to learn about their medium and longer term effects and the role of institutions and policies to cushion the adverse consequences of these changes. By studying some ‘best practices’ in Denmark, Canada and Australia they also draw some important lessons about the reasons why national policies might either fail or better cope with the challenges Europe face today.

Chapter 13: The Danish Road to ‘Flexicurity’ Where are we Compared to Others? And How did we Get There?

Per Kongshøj Madsen

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy


13. The Danish Road to ‘Flexicurity’: Where are we Compared to Others? And How Did We Get There? Per Kongshøj Madsen 13.1 INTRODUCTION The successful development of the Danish economy and labour market in recent years has stimulated ideas about the existence of a particular Danish model of the employment system characterised by: • A flexible labour market with a high level of external numerical flexibility indicated by high levels of worker flows in and out of employment and unemployment; the high degree of numerical flexibility is made possible by a low level of employment protection, allowing employers to freely adapt the workforce to changing economic conditions. A generous system of economic support for the unemployed. Active labour market policies aimed at upgrading the skills of those unemployed that are unable to return directly from unemployment to a new job. • • Originally these special traits were pointed at in a report of the Danish Ministry of Employment (Arbejdsministeriet, 1999). They have later been the subject of a number of academic articles and papers and also emphasised by the OECD (2004).1 Furthermore, the analysis of the ‘Danish model’ has been linked to the growing international literature on ‘flexicurity’, where the Danish approach is seen as a variant that fits into this broader concept (see Wilthagen and Tros, 2004). In this perspective, the flexibility–security nexus found in Denmark is a combination of a high numerical flexibility and a correspondingly high level of income security for the unemployed in the form of...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information