Performance overview: The Netherlands
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The Netherlands continues its climb toward the top of the Index, improving its score and rising by one spot to 4th. This is the result of small improvements across all three subindexes, with a solid and even performance across the pillars including top 10 ranks for infrastructure, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, technological readiness, business sophistication, and innovation. The Netherlands scores especially high on the quality of its scientific research institutions (4th) and closeness of links between universities and the private sector (5th). Success stories of social innovation are particularly frequent in the Netherlands.24 One weakness is its 37th rank in financial market development, as both the perceived efficiency of and confidence and trust in the financial sector are low. On a continued upward trend, the country registers large positive moves again this year for labor market efficiency indicators, including for ease of hiring and firing; this comes in the wake of the entry into effect of the Work and Security Act in mid-2015.25 Importantly, the Act attempts to improve the position of flexible workers and simplifies dismissal procedures.