The Fact of Unemployment

Johannes Lindvall

in Mass Unemployment and the State

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590643
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191723407 | DOI:
The Fact of Unemployment

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This chapter is concerned with the labor market policies that governments in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden pursued after the emergence of high unemployment. It attempts to explain why these countries followed different reform paths, and why political conflicts over labor market reform played out differently. In the 1990s and 2000s, Denmark and the Netherlands made a series of reforms in the areas of unemployment insurance and active labor market policy, introducing a model of labor market regulation that has become known as “flexicurity.” The chapter's main argument is that this was a result of two factors: the early onset of unemployment and the renegotiation of postwar political arrangements in Denmark and the Netherlands that began in the 1980s. Political circumstances and economic policy choices in the 1970s and 1980s continued to matter to labor market policymaking in the 1990s and 2000s.

Keywords: unemployment insurance; active labor market policy; activation; flexicurity; Austria; Denmark; the Netherlands; Sweden

Chapter.  15157 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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