Public service employment relations in an era of austerity: The case of Denmark – University of Copenhagen

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04 December 2013

Public service employment relations in an era of austerity: The case of Denmark

Article by Nana Wesley Hansen and Mikkel Mailand

This article analyses the impact of the economic crisis on the public sector in Denmark. It first examines the overall public sector responses and presents local case studies, before offering a comparative perspective with other Nordic countries. The article concludes that responses to the crisis in Denmark mostly involve ‘resetting recent reform’. The crisis has affected on job levels and employment relations, but other drivers are also important. Analysis at the local level reveals that the reduction in job levels is as much an expression of the implementation of pre-crisis reforms and demographic change as a manifestation of a direct crisis impact. The moderate impact of the crises on public sector reforms is also found in Norway, Finland and Sweden.

The article was published in European Journal of Industrial Relations, Volume 19, Issue 4, December 2013.

Read the article (pdf)