The Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policies
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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.
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Chapter 2: Is the Changing Pattern in the Use of Active Labour Market Policies Consistent with what Evaluations Tell Us About their Relative Performance?

Jaap de Koning


Jaap de Koning 1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter we deal with three questions. The first question is what theory has to say about the potential effects of active labour market policies (ALMPs). Can we expect positive outcomes at all? The second question is how expenditure on ALMPs is divided over the various types of measures and what changes have occurred in the use of the different types over time. The third question is what the international evaluation literature tells us about the performance of the various measures, and whether measures that come out favourably from the evaluation literature tend to be used more. Active labour market policy aims at reintegrating the unemployed in the labour market. The OECD (see the various Employment Outlooks) understands ALMP to mean both the core (job mediation) activities of the public employment service (PES) as well as specific reintegration measures such as training and subsidized labour. Traditionally, the latter activities, which are often targeted at disadvantaged groups, were also largely implemented by the PES. However, recently, governments have been more and more inclined to outsource the implementation of specific active measures to private agencies. Australia and the Netherlands are the most pronounced examples of this development (see the contributions by Bruttel, de Koning and Struyven in this volume). In this chapter we use a broad definition of ALMP, comprising both the core activities of the PES as well as specific reintegration measures. Sanctions such as cuts in benefits...

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