Ein dänisches "Beschäftigungswunder?" (A Danish “employment miracle”)
Abstract"Denmark is one of the European countries which has been able to reduce unemployment drastically in recent years; the unemployment figure has fallen by more than 120,000 since its peak of 340,000 in 1994. This success deserves particular attention because the policy followed in Denmark differs very clearly from that in the other countries with employment policy success; there is no sign of an accentuated liberalisation of the labour market, nor does the secret behind the Danish success lie in promoting part-time work or enforcing reductions in working time. As is shown in this report, the reduction of unemployment goes back to several policies acting in combination which tackled the problem almost simultaneously: a fiscal policy which first (in 1994) gave an expansionary impulse of a total of 1.2 % of the GDP and reformed the tax and social security systems; a labour market policy which increased the pressure on people to take up employment, used existing instruments (early retirement regulations) to a greater extent and developed new ones (sabbatical models), thus reducing the labour force potential by some 100,000 at short notice; and finally a wages policy which pursued a moderate course in spite of strong economic expansion and arranged wage determination more flexibly. One key to success is the fact that a stronger macroeconomic growth came about in Denmark not least as a result of this change in policy, but the higher growth explains the increase in employment only partially; the other policies also contribute to this. The method used to solve the employment problem in Denmark can not easily be applied to Germany, in view of the difference in size alone and the special problems of eastern Germany. Nevertheless this report emphasises three elements of reform that could also point the way ahead for Germany: firstly the concerted procedure mentioned which also led to the various measures having an increased effect especially in the initial phase. Secondly keeping to the schedule. Virtually all the measures taken were limited in time and in the following period the plans for phasing them out were also adhered to. Thirdly Denmark is an example of how a high level of social security need not stand in the way of reducing unemployment, provided that the other conditions are appropriate for this. In particular the high level of basic security probably contributed to the acceptance of the cuts which are also unavoidable in Denmark." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany] in its journal Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt– und Berufsforschung.
Volume (Year): 31 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Arbeitslosigkeitsbekämpfung; Beschäftigungspolitik; Arbeitsmarktentwicklung; Arbeitskosten; Sozialpolitik; Dänemark;
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- Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Job Security in America: Lessons from Germany," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number kagsnh1993, October.
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