30 May 2023

CEBI researchers to advise the government on the future labour market


The Danish government wants to reform the employment system to focus on the individual citizen. The possibilities will be mapped out by a group of experts led by Claus Thustrup Kreiner, head of CEBI. Jakob Egholt Søgaard will also be a member of the expert group.

Claus Thustrup Kreiner
Claus Thustrup Kreiner, economics professor and head of CEBI, will lead the expert group that will design a model for the employment system of the future.

Employment in Denmark is currently at an all-time high. However, the relatively few citizens who are out of work are faced with an employment system that is being criticised for being rigid and characterised by complex and illogical rules.

The government has announced that it will change the employment system to make it more dignifying. At the same time, the government wants to reduce costs by DKK 3bn annually from 2030.

To qualify the upcoming changes, the government has set up an expert group to be led by Claus Thustrup Kreiner, head of the basic research centre CEBI (Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality). He will be joined by Assistant Professor Jakob Egholt Søgaard, who is also affiliated with the centre.

Looking at citizens' own experiences

Claus Thustrup Kreiner believes that their experience from their research at CEBI can greatly benefit the work of the expert group.

"At CEBI, we do empirical research on behaviour and inequality. Among other things, we work with how people react to different policies, which is extremely relevant when evaluating employment programmes," he says and continues:

"We have also worked with inequality more broadly than traditionally in economics, including how people perceive their own situation. This matches the government's desire to include the citizens' experience of the employment programme."

Difficult – but important – questions

The main tasks of the expert group will be to investigate and propose models for a reform of the employment programme with a focus on greater freedom, simplification, and dignity.

"We need to come up with answers to a number of big questions: Which types of initiatives work best? Can we target efforts to the individual citizen's needs? And who should be responsible for the efforts?", says Claus Thustrup Kreiner.

These are difficult questions to answer, he emphasises.

“When assessing which initiatives work best, it's not just about the employment effect. It's also about how you experience them as a citizen. Does the system put the citizen in a situation that is perceived as unnecessary, unreasonable or undignified? This is difficult to measure, but important to consider," Claus Thustrup Kreiner explains.

The expert group will work for one year and then deliver a comprehensive report to the government. The report is due in June 2024 at the latest.


Claus Thustrup Kreiner
Professor and head of CEBI, Department of Economics
Mail: ctk@econ.ku.dk 
Phone: +45 30 70 50 25

Simon Knokgaard Halskov
Press and communications officer
Mail: sih@samf.ku.dk 
Phone: +45 93 56 53 29


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