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Labour Market Policy and Unemployment

Impact and Process Evaluations in Selected European Countries

Edited by Jaap de Koning and Hugh Mosley

This book examines the effectiveness of active labour market policies and their contribution to the prevention of social exclusion. The evaluation studies reported in this volume focus on two aspects of active labour market policies that have been relatively neglected in previous research and merit special attention.
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Chapter 3: Aggregate impact analysis of active labour market policy in France and Sweden: a regional approach

Dominique Anxo, Stéphane Carcillo and Christine Erhel


Dominique Anxo, Stéphane Carcillo and Christine Erhel In their seminal work, Bourdet and Persson (1995) concluded that active labour market policies (ALMPs) were more efficient in Sweden than in France in the 1980s. However, since the beginning of the 1990s (Anxo and Erhel, 1998), policies in these countries have converged. Levels of active expenditure and activity rates are now very similar in France and Sweden. In Sweden, ‘mixed’ programmes combining training and temporary work, as well as new job subsidies, have been substituted for the traditional tools of ALMP (relief works and mobility grants); while in France, on the other hand, various jobcreation programmes have been developed and ALMP has been implemented according to more decentralized management techniques. Consequently, the first question addressed in this chapter is whether these changes have altered the impact of active policies on the respective labour markets. It should also be noted that Bourdet and Persson used aggregate and annual data, which severely reduced the number of observations. Our study uses monthly data aggregated at the regional level, which provides a sounder empirical basis for the evaluation. Moreover, the nature of our data allows us to investigate regional differences, which we deal with in accounting for potential idiosyncratic effects at the regional level – a problem which has so far received relatively little attention in the literature. In the first section of this chapter, we present the main components and features of active labour market policy in France and Sweden, as well as data...

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