In a standard deﬁnition, the so-called German model is described as an ‘institutionalized high wage economy combining high competitiveness in world markets with strong social cohesion and, in particular, low levels of inequality along a variety of dimensions’ (Streek, 1997: 2). In a similar way, Freeman (2000) describes this model as ‘Rhenish Capitalism’. There are several characteristics that belong to the German model. These characteristics include at least ﬁve dimensions:
1 education and training: the dual training system, long tenure and acquisition of ﬁrm-speciﬁc human capital;
2 labour relations: high union coverage, co-determination and social partnership, high importance of internal vs. external ﬂexibility;
3 solidarity: moderate degrees of inequality in earnings and ﬁnancial assets, a comprehensive social security network;
4 industrial structure: export orientation of the economy, relative strength of manufacturing;
5 infrastructure: efﬁcient transport facilities, highly reliable legal system.