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Flexicurity: Reconciling Social Security with Flexibility - Empirical Findings for Europe

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  • Seifert, Hartmut
  • Tangian, Andranik
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    Abstract

    It is empirically shown that the more flexible employment, the more it is precarious. For this purpose, two families of indices, of flexible work and of precarious work, are defined basing on the Fourth European Survey of Working Conditions 2005 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Two methodologies of constructing composite indicators are applied, of the Hans Böckler Foundation, and of the OECD. Both methodologies give very similar results. After the indices have been constructed, the dependence between flexibility and precariousness of work is established by regression analysis with statistical certainty. Besides, it is revealed that the institutional regulation of employment does not necessarily imply the adequate factual effect. For instance, Turkey and Greece with a strict employment protection legislation have a high labour market flexibility due to a large fraction of employees who work with no contract. Among other things, it is shown that the employment flexibility has the strongest negative effect on the employability. It implies serious arguments against the recent reconsideration of the function of social security attempted by the European Commission within the flexicurity discourse. The suggested shift from income security towards a high employability cannot be consistently implemented. Our study provides empirical evidence that a high employability can be hardly attained under flexible employment. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung in its series WSI Discussion Papers with number 154.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wsidps:154

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    Related research

    Keywords: Flexicurity; labour flexibility; precarious work; composite indicators; European Commission; European Employment Strategy;

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    References

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    1. Hein, Eckhard & Schulten, Thorsten, 2004. "Unemployment, Wages and Collective Bargaining in the European Union," WSI Discussion Papers 128, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    2. Hein, Eckhard, 2003. "Die NAIRU: Eine post-keynesianische Interpretation," WSI Discussion Papers 113, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    3. Bothfeld, Silke, 2007. "Labour Market Institutions in Germany : Current Status and Ongoing Reforms," WSI Discussion Papers 152, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    4. Tangian, Andranik S., 2005. "Composite indicator of German regional policy and its use for optimizing subsidies to regional labour markets," WSI Discussion Papers 138, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    5. Tangian, Andranik, 2006. "Monitoring flexicurity policies in Europe from three different viewpoints," WSI Discussion Papers 145, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    6. Truger, Achim & Schulten, Thorsten & Hein, Eckhard, 2004. "Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe," WSI Discussion Papers 124, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    7. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept – opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," Macroeconomics 0412007, EconWPA.
    8. Seifert, Hartmut, 2004. "Flexibility through working time accounts : reconciling economic efficiency and individual time requirements," WSI Discussion Papers 130, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    9. Tangian, Andranik S., 2004. "Liberal and trade-unionist concepts of flexicurity: Modelling in application to 16 European countries," WSI Discussion Papers 131, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    10. Schulten, Thorsten, 2004. "Foundations and Perspectives of Trade Union Wage Policy in Europe," WSI Discussion Papers 129, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
    11. Eckhard Hein, 2007. "Interest Rate, Debt, Distribution And Capital Accumulation In A Post-Kaleckian Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 310-339, 05.
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    Cited by:
    1. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul & Tobsch, Verena, 2009. "Institutional Arrangements, Employment Performance and the Quality of Work," IZA Discussion Papers 4595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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