Flexibility and Employment Security in Europe
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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.
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Chapter 5: Mobility in the Labour Market: Analysing Career Paths Using Administrative Data

Mieke Booghmans, Seppe van Gils and Caroline Vermandere


Mieke Booghmans, Seppe van Gils and Caroline Vermandere 5.1 INTRODUCTION The theory of the transitional labour market has mobility in the labour market as its centre-point. The analyses of mobility streams on the labour market permit us to map out the dynamic character of the labour market. Günther Schmid’s concept of the transitional labour market indicates the range of transitions possible within the labour market (Schmid 1995; Schmid and Gazier, 2002). School leavers enter the labour market as newcomers; pensionable workers leave it; others leave the labour market early; for example through the bridging retirement scheme; some wage-earners withdraw through career breaks and others change jobs. Much has already been said about these dynamics on the labour market (see Chapter 4 of Origo et al., Chapter 6 of Muffels and Luijkx, Chapter 8 of Meager and Chapter 11 of Ziguras and Stricker in this book). But how transitional is the Belgian labour market at this point? Is there much mobility between the different sections of the labour market or not? To answer this question, we investigate the career paths of the full-time employed and the unemployed entitled to a benefit. Which transitions do they make during ten subsequent quarters? The analysis is based on administrative data for Belgium. Great progress has been made in Belgium in that respect with the construction of the ‘Datawarehouse Labour Market’. In the Datawarehouse, the main information in the administrative Social Security databases is linked up. All residents known to the Belgian social security...

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