IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Institutional Arrangements, Employment Performance and the Quality of Work


  • Eichhorst, Werner

    () (IZA)

  • Marx, Paul

    () (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Tobsch, Verena



The observation of highly regulated, but successful economies has given rise to the hypothesis of various viable models of labor market adaptability. The paper presents a quantitative indicator that tries to avoid a simplified flexibility-rigidity dichotomy and provides a detailed picture of the varying institutional configurations by which flexibility is achieved. In order to capture different patterns of flexibility, we differentiate between five types of flexibility which can be combined (external-numerical, internal-numerical, external-functional, Internal-functional, and wage flexibility). Following the dominant analytical perspective in comparative labor market research the indicator is limited to the institutional level (de jure variables). Besides institutional variables influencing external numerical flexibility (employment protection, unemployment benefit system and active labor market policies, taxation and wage setting) we include further institutions which can be assumed to influence adaptability (education, working-time arrangements and firm-specific vocational training).

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4595

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, January.
    2. Eichhorst, Werner & Feil, Michael & Braun, Christoph, 2008. "What Have We Learned? Assessing Labor Market Institutions and Indicators," IZA Discussion Papers 3470, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Seifert, Hartmut & Tangian, Andranik, 2007. "Flexicurity: Reconciling Social Security with Flexibility - Empirical Findings for Europe," WSI Working Papers 154, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    4. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
    5. Richard Freeman, 2005. "Labour market institutions without blinders: The debate over flexibility and labour market performance," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 129-145.
    6. repec:ilo:ilowps:374124 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ronald Bachmann & Peggy Bechara & Anica Kramer & Sylvi Rzepka, 2015. "Labour market dynamics and worker heterogeneity during the Great Recession – Evidence from Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, December.
    2. Ronald Bachmann & Peggy Bechara & Anica Kramer & Sylvi Rzepka, 2014. "Labour Market Dynamics and Worker Heterogeneity During the Great Recession – Evidence from Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 0499, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Eichhorst, Werner & Tobsch, Verena, 2013. "Has Atypical Work Become Typical in Germany?," IZA Discussion Papers 7609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Eichhorst, Werner. & Tobsch, Verena., 2013. "Has atypical work become typical in Germany? : country case studies on labour market segmentation," ILO Working Papers 994814963402676, International Labour Organization.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:481496 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Werner Eichhorst, 2015. "The Unexpected Appearance of a New German Model," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 49-69, March.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0499 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
    9. Alexander Herzog-Stein & Fabian Lindner & Simon Sturn, 2013. "Explaining the German Employment Miracle in the Great Recession – The Crucial Role of Temporary Working Time Reductions," IMK Working Paper 114-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item


    labor market institutions; flexibility; indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4595. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.