Education policy and the consequences for labor market integration in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Nelson, Moira
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • The increased risk of skill obsolescence calls for new types of education policy that facilitate learning throughout the life course. I build two indices in order to express the types of education policy required to ameliorate this increased risk as well as explore variation in the degree to which different countries succeed at developing education policy to address this risk. The first index is called skill acquisition and includes education policies that invest in individuals' cognitive skills and expands educational opportunities. The second index is called skill transparency and aims at capturing the degree to which skills are certified in a transparent way as well as the extent to which complementarities between qualifications are recognized within the certification system. Analyzing the origins behind the country rankings on these two indices, the results from the fuzzy set and regression analysis underscore a Scandinavian path to high rankings on both indices buttressed by the key presence of high left party incumbency and a powerful state. With respect to the skill transparency index, an additional path appears plausible consisting of strong right party incumbency combined with relatively well-organized social partners and left parties. Also, Christian democratic incumbency appears particularly hazardous for the development of policies that secure the transparent certification of skills. Examining the cases of Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands in greater detail provides evidence first for the role of the various political factors described above in influencing the development of education policy. Three thematic groups of education policies are considered, the comprehensive school movement, continuing education, and active labor market policies. Second, firm interviews regarding firms' involvement in active labor market policies help to delve deeper into the mechanisms by which mutually beneficial policy outcomes are facilitated or made more difficult. Although Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands have all used active labor market policies to reintegrate workers into the labor market, the types of policies each country has pursued as well as the degree of investment that these policies have both demanded and received from firms varied.
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  • Stephens, John
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