Statens rolle i dansk arbejdsløshedsforsikring: The role of the state in danish unemployment insurance

Aske Bo Frederiksen, Maria Stein Knudsen & Tilla Slåen Jensen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Abstract This report is a critical-realistic study of the role of the state in unemployment insurance in Denmark. The study examines the role played by the government in financing unemployment insurance and explores how the so-called activation of those with unemployment insurance has developed between 1967 and 2015. The first year under investigation is 1967 as that was the year when the Danish government took on the entire economic risk of unemployment insurance. Earlier, the economic risk was shared between the government and various unemployment insurance funds. The study examines selected unemployment insurance laws from the period, articles from that age, and historical analyses. This empirical data is subjected to a document analysis and is discussed with appeal to Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s theory of “The three worlds of welfare capitalisms”. In this theory, the author has developed three welfare state regimes: the liberal welfare regime, the corporative welfare regime, and the social democratic welfare regime. Denmark is itself a welfare state in the social democratic welfare regime, which is built on universalism, and invites the question how a freely-chosen unemployment insurance is part of a welfare state. To answer this, the report uses Esping- Andersens term “decommodification”, which is a measurement used to indicate the level of the citizen’s dependency on the market. For creating knowledge within the deep domain, this study uses Asbjørn Sonne Nørgaards theory of path dependency in the context of Danish unemployment insurance. This is done in order to investigate how and why the laws have not changed radically and how they are following a consistent path. The study concludes that the state’s role in unemployment insurance in Denmark has created a high level of decommodification and that there has not been significant changes in the financing of the unemployment insurance. This may be entailed by path dependency the consequence of which is an unchanging unemployment insurance system. The study concludes as well that there have been many changes in the activation of unemployment insured citizens. These changes include the ability of such citizens to reclaim their right to benefits and whether the reasoning behind the activation is informed by the state’s desire to employ or educate the citizens. Furthermore, changes have affected why and where the government dictates activation for the unemployed in the private or the public sphere. The report concludes that the governmental decrees where unemployment insurance is concerned have effected a high level of economic security for unemployment insured citizens but at the same time a number of strict rules and incentives have been introduced to impel the insured citizens to return to the labour market through activation.

UddannelserPolitik og Administration, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato19 jun. 2015
VejledereBodil Damgaard


  • dagpenge
  • Arbejdsløshedsforsikring
  • velfærdsstat
  • aktivering