The ‘Flexicurity’ of the Danes

While many European countries have suffered from chronically high unemployment and relatively low economic growth, Denmark’s economy has performed well in recent years. Output growth has been running slightly above 3 percent per annum last year and in the first half of this year, and unemployment fell to about 4.4 per cent this past summer (well below the average of around 8 percent unemployment in the euro area as a whole).     

Are the Danes, with their ‘conservative’ government, exemplary Europeans these days? A recent economic study (PDF) by economists from the International Monetary Fund provides some support for that contention, at least in the area of labor market policies. The Danish labor market model is sometimes referred to as “flexicurity” because it appears to deliver simultaneously labor market flexibility and social security. Basically, employers in Denmark are relatively free to hire and fire, which stimulates hiring of workers, and those workers receive generous social security benefits if they lose their jobs. At the same time, active labor market policies ensure that newly unemployed persons are being offered a new job or training within a relatively short time.       

Both (1) the flexibility enjoyed by employers and (2) the active labor market policies pursued by government help to reduce structural unemployment (as distinct from cyclical unemployment). At the same time, (3) the third element of the Danish model, i.e. the generous unemployment benefits, tends to increase structural unemployment (by reducing incentives to work and by raising the so-called “reservation wage(s)” (i.e. the wage at which unemployed people are willing to work), while the tax wedge on labor income (necessary to finance labor market programs and welfare benefits) raises unemployment through its negative effect on labor demand and labor supply. On the whole, though, positive effects have clearly outweighed negative ones, and the unemployment rate has significantly declined in Denmark since the early 1990’s, while it did not change much in the euro area as a whole over the same period.   

To be fair, bad memories have been stimulating economic reforms for some time now in Denmark, particularly in reaction to the 1980’s, when the economy suffered from high inflation and unemployment, unsustainable budget deficits and large current account deficits (on the external balance of payments). Since 2001, high priority is being given to fiscal consolidation and to increasing (‘activating’) the labor supply in Denmark, to help the country cope with the pressures from an aging population, e.g. through increasing the retirement age.    

Should other European countries try to emulate Denmark? The answer is not immediately obvious or straightforward. First, because Denmark itself in the 1980’s could manage to start bringing unemployment down only after tightening unemployment benefits and labor market policies. In other words, under different macroeconomic circumstances, the combination of flexible labor markets with high income protection did then not by itself give good employment results. Second, a comparable country like Sweden has also managed to lower unemployment over the last decade or so while maintaining more rigid labor markets (in terms of protection against dismissal), but perhaps at a cost of lower economic growth. Third, other countries like Ireland and Britain have lowered unemployment significantly through systems characterized by relatively low unemployment protection and low replacement rates. Finally, the Danish ‘flexicurity’ model is very costly to implement. High spending on labor market programs and unemployment benefits amounts to about 5 percent of GDP in Denmark. This makes the model less applicable to countries with existing high unemployment and weak public finances, because a move to the Danish system would require a further widening of the existing tax wedge and that would negatively impact on employment. To illustrate this, and using an econometric model for France, the IMF economists find that the impact there on structural unemployment would be very limited in the first few years.  

Nevertheless, the specifics of the Danish flexicurity model deserve careful consideration from other governments. Labor market flexibility is a necessary requirement in order to achieve high economic growth and low unemployment, at least in advanced and diversified economies, and in the European context such flexibility is more likely to be acceptable to the population in combination with a well-functioning social safety net. Such a trade-off also provides a strong argument to maintain ‘strong’ public finances (i.e. avoid wasteful public spending), because that would enable financing for the pursuit of high employment policies. 

Lowest number of children

Lowest number of children per woman in Germany. 680.000 children in 2005, the lowest number since 1946 we read on Danish TTV1 26 Mars 2006. If you know the truth you could get the thought that this information was produced a little before 1946 in Germany.

Birth-frequency 1,36 as the total birth-frequency of women in Germany is reported as such on: page 16 and on
You can try:"> and find 1,2 child as fertility that is not birth-frequency varying with the number birthgiven women from year to year.
But something much more imported has been consciously ignored:
The total fertility as we read it reported can also be calculated by a weighed mean of the single average fertilities of the Westerners and of the Non-Westeners respectively,

X: the percentage of birthgiving Non-Westeners
1-X: the percentage of birthgiving Westeners
Fertility of Etnic German women (arithmetric average): Fy
Non-Westeners fertility has been calculated in Italy to 3.5 child. If you assume the percentage of Non-Westerners Germany to be 15 per cent (inclusive naturalized and their children before and after the naturalization)
Then: 3.5*0.15 + Fy(1-0.85) = 1.36 that implies
Fy = 0.98
Remember: "Six Good Reasons.."
If 3.5 are exchanged with 3.0, you get Fy= 1.07.You can also vary the percentage of Non-Westeners as long as it is not calculated correctly.

J. E. Vig, Denmark

Denmark, unemployment 2005

From Denmark to marcfrans:
Table 2
Not working in the working ages (16-66 years) in 2005 - Sorry, we use comma to separate decimals in Denmark! And again, I had the newest figures, but forgot, only in a Danish file.
The same result again, and you also learnt what I taught you about running from one group to another, when you compare the two accounts:

Registred unemployed: 302,860
Clients of social security: 135,756
Revalidents: 25,111
Municipal activated: 45,409
Job center-activated: 20,333
On leave: 10,749
On yield of unemployment: 15,225
Total: 555,443 ud of 2.9 mill. in the work force

Source : "New" from Denmark’s Statistics: No 326, 29 July 2006

302,860 has been reduced to about 125,000 since this account in 2006 for 2005. That's all, and some of the other groups have probably increased – as you notice, they did when you compare with last entry for 2004. But forget this. Can you multiply 125,000 by 3 < (555,443 – (302,860- 125,000), and you can add some from the early retirement-group? Read this and further, now in Danish that you obvious have to learn, if I don't translate:

Most Sincerely
Joern Vig,

Unemployment in Denmark is as I wrote

marcfrans, don't be uncivilized by calling anything nonsense before you know anything yourself:

Table 2 Not working in the working ages (16-66 years) in 2004 In the working ages 16-66 years

Registred unemployed: 335,000
Clients of social security: 144,000
Revalidents: 26,748
Municipal activated: 49,268
Job center-activated: 19,269
On leave: 7,535
On yield of unemployment: 12,302
Total: 594,142 ud of 2.9 mill. in the work force/ labour force (that means the supply on the labour market, a concept that has substantial manipulated in Denmark
to show that immigrants certainly DO supply their labour, 35-40 pct. of them)

Source : "New" from Denmark’s Statistics: No 326, 29 July 2005

The age of the statistic is not my responsibility. 335.000 has been reduced to about 125.000 since this account. That's all and some of the other groups have probably increased. But forget this.
Can you multiply 125.000 by 3 < (594.142 -210.000), and you can add some from the early retirement-group? Read this and further:

Come on with some facts-based arguments, please!
Joern, Denmark

Labor force participation # 2





If by "nonsense" you mean the comments by 'Joern' and 'Voyager', I agree with you.

I also agree that looking at "labor force participation" is a very useful -  but rudimentary - way of looking at the big picture with regard to employment.  But there are problems with that measure too, especially since there are different 'degrees' of participation.

The 'economic think tank' of industrial countries, the OECD in Paris, does a lot of work on ironing out national differences in labor statistics, and produces 'standardised' measures of unemployment.  We may safely assume that the IMF economists have used such standardised measures in their research.  

You will notice that all the countries mentioned in the article (Denmark, Sweden, Britain and Ireland) also perform well under your measure of "labor force participation", except for France whose participation rate is worse by about 10 percentage points of the working-age population.  The latter 'point' can also be made for Germany (which is probably more comparable to Denmark than France), and it applies even more to Italy. 

Like you, I am surprised about the labor force participation statistic for Mexico.  I believe that Mexico is the most recent member of the OECD, and I doubt that that institution can have made much headway in 'standardising' Mexico's labor statistics.  Personally, I don't think that Mexico properly belongs in the OECD, and given the state of its 'government' I wouldn't put much stock in its official statistics.   But, we assume that we are all 'adult people' here on the Brussels Journal, so we know that policies of international institutions are usually not governed by 'consistent' principles.


Labor Force Participation

Getting back to the subject, one way of cutting through most of the nonsense about defining unemployment is just to look at how many people are actually employed.  Here are some numbers comparing the US, Europe, and a few other countries: Link

Denmark does not come off looking too badly.  I notice that labor force participation in France and Britain are farther apart than the US and Mexico, which I did not expect to see.

Boycott is the simple answer! @Miriam

Miriam Madam, It is wise to drill the concept of boycott into infidels so that they are no longer weak or vulnerable.    

There is a big difference between "infidels; and islamists.

  • They are always offensive while infidels are not even defensive most of the time - especially in India; 
  • They are invasive and expansive making a caliphate empire stretching across several continents, while infidels have been silenced spectators;
  • They are driven by mix of religion and politics while infidels believe in street secularism;
  • They have a criminal mind-set of greedy grab by any means - mostly by foul means, while infidels care for rule of law;
  • They dont believe in truth or facts, while infidels live by such lofty ideals of reality, even silenced by intimidating historic factual savagery;
  • They have more and btter unity while infidels are fractured and fragmented with zillion denominations from Pentacostal to Mormons; etc

Yes, it is prudent to spread the message of total boycott of the islamic trade and commerce till such time that they retreat to their own islamic homelands numbering more than 60 countries at last count. 

You all must help the islamic burden dumped on India in 1947 to be unloaded from poverty-stricken Indians who have sacrificed way too much for  the West during WW-I and II and Boxer  war in China.  Or pakkis must be made to pay annual compensation to the Indians for carrying this criminal burden year after year plus reparations for waging so many wars on India - like Charles Taylor of Liberia now jailed in the Hague - including one in Kargil.

Say 'no' to caliphate - Boycott jihadis.. @JoernVig

Like we teach our kids to say 'no' to drugs, we must tell ourselves to say 'no' to creepy gradual behind-the-scene formation and formulation of caliphate. Missing links have been the big land mass of Indian sub-continent that is more than half way conquered by the islamofascists and the landmass of Thailand and Phillipines. [In India, Hollywood type movie actors are mostly muslims at the top who have become filthy rich and are frequenting Dubai plotting the street savagery by islamist mobs time and again; hence, dont give your tourist dollars to Dubai or any dollar to any islamist business]

Even a small Central Asian country like Kyrgystan is under the spell of this mass bowel movement [first started by egyptian and palestinian bigots quite a while ago]. Some of the references are here:=

I don't buy the unemployment

I don't buy the unemployment figures but the Danish economy seems to have been rewarded for not being stupid enough to join the euro like we did here.  Still I would not want to live in Denmark.

The Danish (real) unployment is three-four times higher

You are perfectly right. I have tried to give a more detailed
reply with several references, but it was not published???

Keynesian nonsense is the keyword.

Higher oilprices and larger oilexport give the effect on balance payments. Without this it would been in large deficit.

In Denmark the official unemployment rate just accounts the number of unemployed members of an unemployment fund.

The private sector is much too small to serve the huge public sector including the immigrants. Everything concerning the right figures (read: politically incorrect) related to the concept welfare can be read on following two links: and

Not in the least enough to make the necessary new investments and adapt with succes to un-ideological globalization. Fare from it. Our education are in a mess in compared with what reality demands, free choice and financed by taxation still since the 1960s in a country with strongest taxation in the world

J. E. Vig, M.Sc.(Economics)

Third, other countries like

Third, other countries like Ireland and Britain have lowered unemployment significantly

Yes Britain is a land of milk and honey and the streets are paved with gold, and taxi drivers read Immanuel Kant before breakfast.

In the real world outside Blair-Brown Disneyland Great Britain has 2.7 million on Incapacity Benefit including 200.000 Alcoholics, and various people suffering from "Stress" and mental illness. In addition there are 1.5 million "Unemployed" and receiving the benefit of $100/week. There are others who receive no benefits so are not recorded as being Unemployed even though they have no work.

Great Britain has the lowest proportion of men over 50 years old in work in Western Europe.

Economic Inactivity is not the same as Unemployment simply because they do not get paid a Benefit by The State.

Anyway there are estimated to be 5 million people in Great Britain without a job receiving some form of Benefit - that is 5 million out of 29 million persons officially listed as working = 17.2% out of work

The huge influx of immigrants from both EU countries and India/Pakistan is driving up unemployment as wages are cut and cheaper workers employed. The new unemployed claim Tax Credits and Govt spending then subsidises the lower wages for the in-work poor.

In parts of the UK 100% new jobs created in the past decade have been taxpayer funded payroll. JUst to add dimensions - the biggest increase in jobs has been in Hairdressing, Care Homes and Administration with lots of new quangoes and Diversity & Race Consultants etc

One Problem with the Sales Tax

I agree that our U.S. tax system is a mess and we do need to go to a Federal sales tax or a flat tax.

However, keep in mind that a sales tax does hurt the elderly on a fixed income. They paid taxes all of their lives and a sales tax could place those on a fixed income living on the edge over the edge. I think the elderly (retired), who are not income producing via salary and wages should be exempt from a sales tax if it is imposed.

I wonder how the elderly in Ireland are dealing with a Federal income sales tax.

I am not sure how your tax

I am not sure how your tax system works but in the U.S.A. there is a movement to go to a national sales tax. Ireland has it and they are 3rd in most prosper ecomocially countries.
If you want to find out more visit or web search U.S. house bill HR25.
I am glad to find a Euro site that has some of the values that we hold. I was getting to think that everyone oversea's didn't like us in the US

We must choose between a Caliphate or tightened Western rule

Like or dislike. It is just a unconscious feeling to talk about the Americans as one. We have in Europe a very totalitarian press, media and administration. They indoctrinate us say in and out directly on TV.

I have to hope for USA to come and help us again in about 5-6 years from now, because the EU-construction is not a thing you count on, when the same totalitarian elite has made Europe ready to go down with Muslems imported against the will of Europeans.

I always wanted to look at the Iraq-war as our friends throwing a sandwich with honey to attract the terrorists.

I think we have to choose between a caliphate or a little more tightened Western rule. It is not difficult for me to choose.

J. E. Vig, Denmark