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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 8: The implementation of active policies in the German regions: decentralization and co-operation

Hugh Mosley and Holger Schütz


1 Hugh Mosley and Holger Schütz 1 INTRODUCTION Evaluation of active labour market policies typically focuses on the assessment of the impact of programmes on individual participants, especially on earnings and employment. By contrast, studies of the impact of implementation structures and processes – that is, the delivery system for labour market policy – are relatively rare. At present, however, these institutional ‘meta-policies’ are the focus of considerable attention as European public employment services (PES) are currently undergoing profound changes (see Chapter 7). The German public employment service has been less affected by these reform trends than the PES in other European countries – partly because of the impact of German reunification. However, the Bundesanstalt für Arbeit (BA, the German PES) itself has initiated a major process of internal reform, ‘Arbeitsamt 2000’ which is currently being implemented.2 Moreover, in January 1998, a substantial revision of the existing law governing labour market policy came into effect. This reform introduced, among other things, a farreaching decentralization of responsibility for active labour market policy to the PES district office level. These reforms are the culmination of a decade of debates and a series of more piecemeal reforms. Parallel to these changes within the PES, the delivery system for active policies has been transformed by a remarkable growth in the importance of local labour market policies under the auspices of local authorities. This development is largely the result of the secular increase in unemployment (especially long-term unemployment), the increasing percentage of the unemployed...

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