Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines how the welfare state can serve as a national strategy to invest in economic competitiveness and sustainable national prosperity, as well as the significant challenges associated with operating an open economy in a period of increased labor mobility. Section 2 begins by tracing the origin and evolution of the Danish welfare state. Section 3 considers immigration and the politics of employment. Section 4 discusses Danish flexicurity and the global financial crisis. The specific Danish combination of external numerical flexibility, income security, and employment security is the result of bargains struck over time as the country’s employers and workers adjusted to economic change. While Denmark’s social welfare institutions became a national strategy to invest in creating a well-trained and flexible workforce, it was not the product of a deliberate or recent policy plan. This makes Danish flexicurity impossible to export in a single step to other contexts where other institutional preconditions prevail.
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