Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
John P. Martin
What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies
() and David Grubb
Abstract: Although rather discouraging in general, the evaluation
literature indicates some measures that have been successful. Job-search
assistance, wage subsidies in the private sector, and labour market
training do work for some groups, even if the impacts are not large. Also,
the evaluation literature focuses on the impacts of one-off programs.
Regular interventions, such as job-search monitoring, intensive interviews,
and referrals to vacant jobs, have rarely been evaluated rigorously.
Recently, introduced "activation" strategies in some OECD countries do
appear to yield significant employment gains for participants. An important
element in such strategies is experiments with alternative ways of
improving the performance of the public employment service.
policies which combine high-quality assistance to find work with pressure
on unemployed people to accept job offers can be effective with respect to
unemployment duration, but more rapid returns to work sometimes comes at
the cost of accepting lower re-employment earnings.
policies might give rise to displacement effects in the short run, this
need not be case the over the medium run of a few years. Declines in
structural employment rates achieved by many OECD countries in the 1990s
give some reasons for optimism in this respect.
Keywords: job search; wage subsidies; labour market training; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J38; J64; J68; (follow links to similar papers)
53 pages, September 25, 2001
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- This paper is published as:
Martin, John P. and David Grubb, (2001), 'What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies', Swedish Economic Policy Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, pages 9-56
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