Dynamics and Perspectives
Edited by Peter Ester, Ruud Muffels, Joop Schippers and Ton Wilthagen
Chapter 5: Pathways to Flexicurity in Europe: Do They Affect Male and Female Labour Market Transition Patterns?
Ruud Muffels1 5.1 INTRODUCTION The notion that modern labour markets perform better if they are capable of maintaining a balance between labour market flexibility and employment security is gaining ground in the European policy arena. In European social policy terms it boils down to improving the adaptability of the labour market by avoiding rigidities caused by legal or institutional constraints, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing existing levels of income and employment security. This is coined in the literature under the heading of ‘flexicurity’. There is ample evidence now that the way European labour markets appear capable of creating a more or less balanced mix between labour market flexibility and income and employment security is showing a large heterogeneity (European Commission, 2006, 2007). In an earlier publication we concluded that there is no one-size-fits-all approach but that there are clearly distinct roads or pathways in Europe (Muffels, 2007). In this chapter we examine the relationship between labour market flexibility, indicated by labour market mobility and income and employment security across Europe from an empirical perspective using the data of the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) for the period 1994–2001. Compared to previous work in which we focused on men only we will deal in this chapter also with women and compare their mobility patterns and ‘flexicurity’ outcomes with those of men. But, because we are including women we need to take account of the factors that might explain the specific transition patterns of women in the labour market compared to...
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