IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic Renewal and Demographic Change Evaluation of policies for well functioning local labour markets in the Nordic countries


  • Elli Heikkilä,


  • Mats Johansson


  • Ingi Runar Edvardsson
  • Torben Dall Schmidt


  • Lasse Sigbjørn Stambøl


  • Lars Olof Persson



Regional imbalances caused by and effecting demographic change are unevenly spread between the Nordic countries. A common threat is that of labour shortage, which is already experienced in certain sectors in particular regions and forecasted on a broader scale in the future. The also common characteristic of an ageing labour force has important side effects from a social and economic perspective in some of the countries and regions, e g increasing rates of sickness leave. The sustainability in economic and social terms of several labour markets is challenged as population decline continues. The institutional preconditions for addressing these and other problems related to economic renewal and demographic change are basically quite similar in all Nordic countries, yet differ in a number of important details. The purpose of this paper is to analyse and evaluate how the different portfolios of policy instruments in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Finland are reflected in differing performance of local labour markets with similar economic and demographic structure and size. A leading hypothesis is that policies reducing risks for the individual when moving between different labour market statuses promotes the flexibility of labour markets. The empirical analysis is based on the transitional characteristics of the local labour market. Each transition or career - such as those from school to job and vice versa, from parental or sick leave to job, from unemployment to job, etc - can be temporary and repetitious. There are a number of theories explaining this increasingly transitional labour force behaviour stressing the individual choice of life-style, and life chances or careers perceived in different places. There are also theories stressing the importance of social capital. Supply side oriented labour market policy is adapting to the differing ”tastes” of individuals and life-style groups. Transition itself is also enforced by policy intervention to encourage temporary leave for life-long learning periods and parental leave. This transition can thus be viewed as a supplementary dimension to that usually described as labour mobility, i.e. qualification or de-qualification careers, inter-industry mobility and inter-regional or international migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Elli Heikkilä, & Mats Johansson & Ingi Runar Edvardsson & Torben Dall Schmidt & Lasse Sigbjørn Stambøl & Lars Olof Persson, 2004. "Economic Renewal and Demographic Change Evaluation of policies for well functioning local labour markets in the Nordic countries," ERSA conference papers ersa04p206, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa04p206

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    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:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa04p206. 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: (Gunther Maier). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.