Impact and Process Evaluations in Selected European Countries
Labour Markets and Employment Policy series
Edited by Jaap de Koning and Hugh Mosley
Chapter 1: Introduction: active labour market policies, social exclusion, and transitional labour markets
Jaap de Koning, Hugh Mosley and Günther Schmid This introductory chapter addresses the broader issue of the role active labour market policy (ALMP) can play in combating social exclusion, which is the central policy question addressed in this book. First, we discuss the concept and objectives of active labour market policy as a distinctive form of policy intervention in the labour market. Second, we consider the meaning and measures of ‘social exclusion’ and the extent to which it is affected by labour market outcomes, especially long-term unemployment. Finally, we discuss the concept of transitional labour markets, its diagnosis of the changing nature of modern labour markets, and its implications for active labour market policies. 1 ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET POLICY Active labour market policies are a subset of labour market and employment policies which are aimed primarily at either preventing unemployment among at-risk individuals; or, if these individuals do become unemployed, at promoting their reintegration into the labour market and their career advancement. The International Labour Organization (ILO), for example, deﬁnes ALMP as ‘purposive, selective interventions by the government in the pursuit of efﬁciency and/or equity objectives, acting indirectly or directly to provide work to, or increase the employability of people with certain disadvantages in the labour market’. It should be noted that active labour market policies represent only one of several types of intervention designed to affect supply or demand in the labour market. Other labour market policies not examined here are also very important, including ‘passive’...