Comparative Study of Labour Market Performance in the UK, Netherlands, Denmark and New Zealand

Pub. Date
30 November, 1998
Pub. Type


Commissioned by HM Treasury.

Over the last twenty years, labour market reform has been seen as an important policy tool aimed at improving economic performance in the United Kingdom. It is widely thought that it has had a major effect on the way the British economy has worked, leading to increased flexibility of the whole economy. The last two decades have also witnessed a rise in income and wage inequality, a growth in social exclusion and long-term unemployment, with specific groups of the population (such as women and young people) being particularly adversely affected. With the implementation of the New Deal programme, the United Kingdom is embarking on a new wave of structural labour market reform designed to deal with some of these problems and tackle wider issues by activating and motivating further underprivileged groups (young people, long-term unemployed).