Polder model

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As polder model (Dutch: Polder Model) is in the Netherlands understood the organized negotiation between employers, unions and independent, government-appointed members of the Economic Council (Sociaal Economische Raad) to negotiate wages and working conditions. Collective agreements that are approved by the Minister of Social Affairs can also be declared as generally binding industry tariffs.

The Wassenaar Agreement of 1982 between employee and employer representatives, which came about at the instigation of the Ruud Lubbers government, is considered to be the point in time from which the term “Poldermodel” was first used to describe economic and labor market policy in the Netherlands. According to the idea, the modern polder model possibly goes back to Harry ter Heide .

Polder is the Dutch name for areas in which the water level is artificially regulated, e.g. B. the land that is reclaimed from the sea and is therefore below sea level. For a long time, the polder model made it possible to enforce strong wage restraint in the Netherlands, but also flexibilization of working hours and part-time work . The economic usefulness, especially the attractiveness for investors, is however controversial. The decisive feature of the polder model is the goal of avoiding confrontations and industrial disputes and instead, with the participation of state negotiators, to achieve results that are beneficial to both parties.

Consensus models have a long tradition in the Netherlands. As early as the Middle Ages, farmers, noblemen, townspeople and other citizens worked together to build and maintain the dikes. This was only possible because of the fact that people worked together regardless of the status. The search for consensus is a typical feature of Dutch politics.


  • Yda Schreuder The Polder Model in Dutch Economic and Environmental Planning , in: Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, August 2001 21: 237-245. doi : 10.1177 / 027046760102100401
  • Jacob Johannes Woldendorp: The Polder Model - from Disease to Miracle? Dutch Neo-corporatism 1965-2000 , Amsterdam 2005. ISBN 90-3619-342-7
  • Luchien Karsten, Kees van Veen, and Annelotte van Wulfften Palthe: What Happened to the Popularity of the Polder Model ?: Emergence and Disappearance of a Political Fashion , in: International Sociology January 2008 23: 35-65, doi : 10.1177 / 0268580907084385
  • Hanco Jürgens Social Market Economy, Germany Model and Polder Model Economic policy models as characteristics of national identity and Europeanization in: Eurostudia 7: 1-2, 2011, pp. 105–117 doi : 10.7202 / 1015014ar

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