Impact and Process Evaluations in Selected European Countries
Labour Markets and Employment Policy series
Edited by Jaap de Koning and Hugh Mosley
This book examines the effectiveness of active labour market policies (ALMP) and their contribution to the prevention of social exclusion. The evaluation studies reported in this volume focus on two aspects of ALMP that have been relatively neglected in previous research and merit special attention: 1) aggregate impact analysis and 2) process evaluation. The methodology for impact assessment is most developed for research designs using micro-data, but effects on the micro-level may be different from those on the macro-level, and it is the effects on macro-level that matter most. Furthermore, the potential effects of ALMP may be positive even though the actual effects are not. This is due to the fact that the impact of ALMP depends to a large extent on the way in which it is implemented. In the vast literature on the impact of ALMP most studies apply a control group methodology to assess the effects of individual ALMP measures on the labour market position of the participants, using individual data. In Europe effectiveness is usually measured by employment status and the nonexperimental version of the control group method is generally used to assess impacts, whereas income is the usual impact indicator in US studies, many of which use experiments. The control group method, particularly the experimental version, has the merit of producing reliable results. However, an important limitation of this approach is that it is unable to deal with displacement, substitution and indirect effects of ALMP measures. Thus, we cannot draw conclusions about the impact of...