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Are active labour market policies effective in activating and integrating low-skilled individuals? An international comparison

Escudero, Veronica (2014): Are active labour market policies effective in activating and integrating low-skilled individuals? An international comparison.

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Abstract

This paper examines the effectiveness of active labour market policies (ALMP) in improving labour market outcomes, especially of low-skilled individuals. The empirical analysis consists of an aggregate impact approach based on a pooled cross country and time-series database for 31 advanced countries during the period 1985–2010. A novelty of the paper is that the analysis includes aspects of the delivery system to see how the performance of ALMP is affected by different implementation characteristics. Among the notable results, the paper finds that ALMP matters at the aggregate level. Training, employment incentives, supported employment and direct job creation measures show the most favourable results, both, in terms of reduced unemployment, but also in terms of increased employment and participation. Interestingly, start-up incentives are more effective in reducing unemployment than other ALMP policies. Moreover, the positive effects seem to be particularly beneficial for the low-skilled. In terms of implementation, the paper finds that the most favourable aspect is the allocation of resources to programme administration. Finally, a disruption of policy continuity is associated with negative effects for all labour market variables analysed.

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