Measures, Public Private Partnerships and Benchmarking
Edited by Jaap de Koning
Chapter 10: Private versus Public Provision of Placement Services for Hard-to-Place Unemployed: An Impact Evaluation
Lennart Delander, Jonas Månsson and Erik Nyberg 1 INTRODUCTION Since the deregulation of private employment services in Sweden, temporary job agencies have been the establishments in that sector which have commanded most attention in the public debate.1 It has been argued, for example, that they have more and better contacts with employers than public employment oﬃces. It has also been claimed that their hiring out of workers could be used within the framework of labour market policy to increase the chances of the unemployed ﬁnding a job.2 This would also apply, it has been contended, to job seekers who have diﬃculty in obtaining employment, since client employers would have the chance of testing them and seeing their skills. So it has been advocated that the Labour Market Administration should contract out placement services for the hard-to-place unemployed to private temporary agencies.3 The hard-toplace population is, of course, very heterogeneous (for deﬁnitions and characteristics of hard-to-place groups see Erhel et al, 1996, p. 281), but proponents of private provision of placement services for the hard-to-place in Sweden singled out as a proper target group the unemployed with an immigrant background who are overrepresented among the long-term unemployed at public employment oﬃces. Allegedly weak incentives for public employment oﬃce employees to be innovative in the placement services they provide for this group of job seekers were advanced as an argument for the superiority of private provision of such services (cf. Schleifer, 1998, p. 138). The essence...
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