International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations

Volume 30 (2014)

Volume 30 (2014) / Issue 4

Bengt Furåker, Kristine Nergaard, Antti Saloniemi, 'Lock-in Patterns among Employees: A Nordic Comparison' (2014) 30 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Issue 4, pp. 435–458


Using survey data collected in 2010-2011, this article examines patterns of lock-in among employees in the Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish labour markets. Workers are defined as locked-in if they have considerable difficulty in finding an equally good job with some other employer. Empirically we measure the concept by means of the employees' own assessment of their labour market prospects. Our results indicate that lock-in is a matter of the interplay between employers and employees. The proportion of those locked-in is lower in Norway - with its higher demand for labour and lower levels of unemployment - than in Finland and Sweden. Young age and good health are associated with relatively optimistic views of job prospects, probably because these attributes impact on the ability to adapt to the demand for labour and because employers tend to be cautious about hiring older workers and those with health problems. The most significant obstacles to finding another job reported by the respondents are the labour market conditions in their place of residence or within commuting distance and their age.

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ISSN: 0952-617X
ID: IJCL2014025