26.5.11

 
A Flexicurity Labour Market in the Great Recession: The Case of Denmark

IZA DP 5710, por Torben Andersen

Abstract:
Flexicurity labour markets are characterised by flexible hiring/firing rules, generous social safety net, and active labour market policies. How can such labour markets cope with the consequences of the Great Recession? Larger labour shedding is to be expected and this strains the social safety net and increases the demands on active labour market policies. This paper takes a closer look at the labour market consequences of the crisis for Denmark. It is found that employment adjustment is not particularly large in international comparison, although it has more weight on the extensive (number of employees) than the intensive (hours) margin. The level of job creation remains high, although job creation is pro-cyclical and job-separation counter-cyclical. As a consequence most unemployment spells remain short. This is critical since a persistent increase in unemployment will affect the financial balance of the model severely. Comparative evidence does not, however, indicate that flexicurity markets are more prone to persistence. Crucial for this is the design of the social safety net and in particular the active labour market policy. However, the larger inflow into activation raises questions concerning the possibility of maintaining the efficiency of the system.

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