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The Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policies

The Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policies

Measures, Public Private Partnerships and Benchmarking

Edited by Jaap de Koning

This book argues that active labour market policies are necessary to improve the position of the unemployed but have so far performed relatively poorly. The contributing authors seek ways to improve active labour market policy and consider three means of doing so: improving the quality by better targeting and by better-designed measures, more efficient implementation and delivery, and better performance by benchmarking the various implementation agencies involved.

Chapter 13: Implementation of Performance Measurement in Public Employment Services in Switzerland

Christoph Hilbert

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy, labour policy


Christoph Hilbert 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter deals with the reforms of the Swiss labour market policy. The extensive reforms have been introduced stepwise and revised several times since 1995. These reforms are the topic of this contribution with the main focus on the organizational change of the Public Employment Service (PES) from input to output control. This basically means the change from a traditional PES, in which the central level prescribes in detail what the regional implementing agencies have to do, to an organization in which the latter agencies have a lot of freedom to decide for themselves what actions to take. However, a more decentralized system of this kind requires some kind of quality control. In a market situation with real competition between contractors, the price mechanism would take care of that, but this is not the case here, as we are talking about public agencies. To handle this, the Swiss had the idea to install a control mechanism based on benchmarking linked with a monetary incentive scheme. They have created a system making it possible to compare the relative performance of regional agencies quantitatively. One could imagine that if relative performance is made visible, this alone will create competition between the agencies and such competition may be expected to improve the results. However, in their original plan the Swiss even went one step further by making the budget allocated to a regional agency dependent on its relative performance. This was supposed to provide a strong incentive for improvement....

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