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

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  • Seifert, Hartmut
  • Tangian, Andranik

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wsidps:154
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/21600/1/p_wsi_diskp_154_e.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Tangian, Andranik S., 2004. "Liberal and trade-unionist concepts of flexicurity: Modelling in application to 16 European countries," WSI Working Papers 131, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    5. Truger, Achim, 2004. "Verteilungs- und beschäftigungspolitische Risiken aktueller Steuerreformkonzepte: Eine Analyse mit Steuerbelastungsvergleichen für konkrete Haushaltstypen," WSI Working Papers 120, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    6. Josten, Stefan Dietrich & Truger, Achim, 2003. "The political economy of growth and distribution: A theoretical critique," WSI Working Papers 111, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
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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).

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation

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