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Flexicurity in Belgium. A Proposal Based on Economic Principles


  • Bart Cockx
  • Bruno Van der Linden


The current unemployment insurance and employment protection legislation were set up in an environment in which relationships between workers and firms were typically long-lasting and stable. The increasing globalisation of the economy and the rapid technological and organisational changes require more flexibility leading to career paths which are much more volatile both within and between firms. Current institutions must be therefore urgently reformed to reconcile this new need of more flexibility with that of security for workers. Rather than proposing a reform on the basis of existing institutions abroad, we propose a reform that is explicitly guided by economic principles.

Suggested Citation

  • Bart Cockx & Bruno Van der Linden, 2009. "Flexicurity in Belgium. A Proposal Based on Economic Principles," CESifo Working Paper Series 2655, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2655

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2008. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 45-77, March.
    2. Cockx, Bart & Van der Linden, Bruno & Karaa, Adel, 1998. "Active Labour Market Policies and Job Tenure," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 685-708, October.
    3. Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe & Bruno Van der Linden, 2007. "Bevordert het Plan voor de begeleiding en opvolging van werklozen de overgang naar werk ?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 4902, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    4. Julia Fath & Clemens Fuest, 2005. "Experience Rating of Unemployment Insurance in the US: A Model for Europe?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(2), pages 45-50, 07.
    5. Olivier Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Redesigning the Employment Protection System," De Economist, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 1-20, March.
    6. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    7. repec:ces:ifodic:v:3:y:2005:i:2:p:14567656 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 131-159, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume & Steinar Vagstad, 2012. "Employment protection and unemployment benefits: On technology adoption and job creation in a matching model," NIPE Working Papers 3/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    2. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2692, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Cockx, Bart, 2013. "Youth Unemployment in Belgium: Diagnosis and Key Remedies," IZA Policy Papers 66, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul, 2010. "Whatever Works: Dualisation and the Service Economy in Bismarckian Welfare States," IZA Discussion Papers 5035, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    flexicurity; employment protection; unemployment insurance; active labour market policies; optimal design;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy


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