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 6: Male Labour Market Mobility and Income and Employment Security in Europe

Ruud Muffels and Ruud Luijkx


Ruud Muffels and Ruud Luijkx 6.1 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF THE STUDY The aim of this chapter is to examine the empirical relationship between flexibility, indicated by the extent of male labour market mobility, and income and employment security in 14 EU countries.1 In the framework of the European policy debate on this relationship, the notion of ‘flexicurity’ has gained momentum and departs from the idea that policies might be shaped so as to create a mutually supporting relationship or a synergy between flexibility and employment security (EC, 2007a). In the introductory chapter of this book the contours were already sketched of the current debate and analysis in academic as well as policy circles in Europe on this ‘flexicurity’ issue. The notion of flexicurity also fits nicely to the normative dimension of the Transitional Labour Market approach promoting a shift from classical ‘make work pay’ policies to ‘make transitions pay’ policies (Schmid, 2002, 2006). The aim of such ‘activating labour market policies’ is to promote employment security (but not necessarily with the same employer) instead of job security (see De Gier and Van den Berg, 2005). In this empirical chapter we focus again on this relationship and build forth on previous studies (see Muffels and Luijkx, 2005, 2006, 2008). We now extend the analyses and broaden our definition of security. With respect to the latter we add the dimension of income security instead of focusing on employment security only. As before we restrict ourselves to male workers because female labour...

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