Is There Less Labor Market Exclusion of People With Ill Health in “Flexicurity” Countries? Comparative Evidence From Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHeggebø KH, Buffel. Is There Less Labor Market Exclusion of People With Ill Health in “Flexicurity” Countries? Comparative Evidence From Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium. International Journal of Health Services. 2019;49(3):476-515 https://doi.org/10.1177/0020731419847591
Higher employment rates among vulnerable groups is an important policy goal, and it is therefore vital to examine which (mix of) social policies that are best able to incorporate vulnerable groups – such as people with ill health – into the labor market. We examine whether there is less labor market exclusion among people with ill health in the two ‘flexicurity’ countries Denmark and the Netherlands, compared to the neighboring countries of Norway and Belgium. The two country pairs of Denmark—Norway and the Netherlands—Belgium are analyzed using OLS regressions and propensity score kernel matching of EU-SILC panel data (2010—2013). Both unemployment and disability likelihood is remarkably similar for people with ill health across the four countries, despite considerable social policy differences. There are three possible explanations for the observed cross-national similarity. First, different social policy combinations could lead towards the same employment outcomes for people with ill health. Second, most policy instruments are located on the supply side, and demand side reasons for the observed ‘employment penalty’ (e.g. employer skepticism/ discrimination) are often neglected. Third, it is too demanding to hold (full time) employment for a sizeable proportion of those who have poor health status.