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 8: Between Efficiency and Equality: New Public–Private Arrangements in Employment Assistance for the Unemployment

Ludo Struyven


8. Between efficiency and equality: new public-private arrangements in employment assistance for the unemployed Ludo Struyven* 1 INTRODUCTION Most Western countries have a long tradition of employment service provision by public bodies and non-profit organisations, but not by for-profit organizations. Under the influence of the activation policy, an increasing number of countries are introducing a market structure in the organization of publicly financed labour market services. Policy-implementation tasks are shifting from the Public Employment Service (PES) towards private organizations, while the public provider no longer acts as first or preferred supplier for the government. Involving private players in the implementation of the public task of job brokerage and reintegration1 of job seekers means that the traditional subsidy tool is being replaced by a quasi-market arrangement. Countries which decide to involve the private (for-profit and non-profit) sector on a substantive scale face a dual challenge: not only tackling unemployment but also implementing market competition. This chapter identifies as two key issues the need to actively create sufficient room for market competition, and the need for ‘positive creaming’ which encourages providers to concentrate their efforts on the most disadvantaged target groups. To what extent are countries succeeding in addressing both of these issues simultaneously? Is the introduction of market forces taking place at the expense of groups that have relatively more difficulty in the labour market? In other words, is there a new tradeoff between equality and efficiency? In this chapter...

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