Chapter 9: Flexibility and security: German in international comparison

In this chapter, the research association will start an analysis of the German production and social model in a period of transformation by placing it in an international context. Because of the importance which the European Union’s new governance level holds for the development of the Federal Republic, it seems sensible to first of all compare Germany with European countries. We intend a multilevel approach in three steps: Evaluation of regime typologies, statistical analyses for EU countries, more detailed interstate comparisons in selected topic areas.


Evaluation of regime typologies

Different sectors of economics and social sciences are intensely concerned with differences in the socioeconomic structure and developmental dynamics of capitalist societies in the context of a growing internationalisation of economic activity and political regulation. In a first step, a typification of countries based on international comparisons (already compiled in a study of research literature) will be evaluated: especially institutionalised forms of political economy (ideal-typical models of capitalism), welfare state regime, gender regime, labour market regime, educational regime, biographical regime, regime types of family policy). The analysis is intended to identify which central dimensions of analysis these approaches to a systematisation of international comparisons have in common and which indicators for interstate comparisons have to be considered, if possible, by socioeconomic reporting. The study can also provide first clues as to which countries should be selected for more detailed interstate comparisons (‘short list’).


Statistical analyses for EU-25

Employing descriptive and multivariate analyses to identify Germany’s relative position within the EU-cluster, countries will provide a first access to the variety of socioeconomic models at the European level. Such an analysis will make it possible to show correlations, conflicts of objectives and trade-offs between different target areas (e.g. between employment and social cohesion).

For this work step, we will use macro data available in harmonised time series. The EU structure indicators are offering harmonised data of comparable quality for EU-25 as well as for the USA and Japan. This list of data, however, is simultaneously too large and too small. On the one hand, it is already multidimensional and quite complex; on the other hand, it is still insufficient for the representation of complex country models as intended by our approach to reporting. Before suitable procedures for the analytical densification of available indicators (e.g. cluster analyses, multidimensional scaling) can be chosen, an appraisal of evaluation studies is essential. When working with structural indicators, the attempt will be made to carry out suitable methodical classifications of indicators, i.e. for example to distinguish performance indicators, policy indicators and perception indicators. Moreover, the EU structure indicators are only available for comparatively short time periods. In order to integrate longer-term developments into the international comparison it has to be checked whether a simplified data record in a long time series, e.g. on the basis of data from the ILO or the OECD, should be additionally employed. For the comparison of other selected features within the relevant time frame, the use of data records has also to be considered – apart from harmonised macro indicators.


More detailed interstate comparisons

More detailed interstate comparisons for selected countries and subject matters are intended to compare quantitative indicators of performance, policy and evaluation. For the interpretation of such comparisons, apart from suitable indicators, one needs a detailed description of the national regulation arenas for the selected subject matters; a description which reflects the interplay of regulation, production and way of life. This method of comparison aims to identify regime-specific cultures of transformation at a European level, i.e. to show how different production and social models are coping with the requirements of the European social model’s modernisation in a situation of international upheaval on an international scale.

As interstate comparisons are rather labour-intensive, they can be realised only for a few (not exceeding three) countries and selected topics. At first one has to make a selection of suitable countries which, in an exemplary fashion, represent contrasting regime types and groups of countries in the EU. In a second report, the more detailed interstate comparison will have to concentrate on the topics of Div. II (household and family structures, work and earner model, market-based or public substitution of informal housework by personal services, if necessary also time patterns and division of labour in the household).

Finally, it has to be clarified which survey data records are best suited to depict these topics and whether, apart from all-German data, those from East and West Germany should be integrated into the comparison as well.

Beside descriptive interstate comparisons, multivariate procedures should show to what extend the variance can be explained, e.g. by different attitudes or approaches to regulation specific for the respective regime.


Results (German)
Abbildung 9.12. Kastengrafik der Flexicurity-Variablen für Flexicurity-Cluster 4 und 6 PDF
Werte der Flexicurity-Variablen für Flexicurity-Cluster 1 PDF
Werte der Flexicurity-Variablen für Flexicurity-Cluster 2 PDF
Werte der Flexicurity-Variablen für Flexicurity-Cluster 3 PDF
Werte der Flexicurity-Variablen für Flexicurity-Cluster 4 PDF
Werte der Flexicurity-Variablen für Flexicurity-Cluster 5 PDF
Werte der Flexicurity-Variablen für Flexicurity-Cluster 6 PDF
Werte der Makrovariablen für Makro-Cluster A PDF
Werte der Makrovariablen für Makro-Cluster B PDF
Werte der Makrovariablen für Makro-Cluster C PDF
Werte der Makrovariablen für Makro-Cluster D PDF
Werte der Makrovariablen für Makro-Cluster E PDF
Web. Tab. 9-1: Variablen, Quellen, Länderwerte PDF
Web. Tab. 9-2: Die Indizes im Überblick, Deutschland und Europa PDF
Web. Tab. 9-3: Aggregierte Länderindexwerte je nach Aspekt von Flexibilität und Sicherheit PDF
Web. Tab. 9-4: Dokumentation der Flexicurity-Variablen PDF

Responsibility for this chapter

Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut an der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (SOFI)