Labour Market Activation

Lane Kenworthy

in The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579396
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Labour Market Activation


This article provides a discussion on labour market activation. The centrality of activation to modern welfare states is addressed. Discussion of labour market activation often focuses on particular policy tools. Three labour market activation strategies are recognized. Activation strategies encompass a large number of policies and programmes, which are combined in myriad ways. The chief aim of activation is to increase the employment rate. There is more than one route to rising employment and to a high employment rate. There may be elective affinities among certain activation policies, but countries as diverse as Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States have secured comparatively high rates of employment with very different sets of policies and institutions.

Keywords: labour market activation; modern welfare states; employment rate; activation policies; Denmark; Netherlands; United States

Article.  5507 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Public Policy

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