Journal Article

Active labour-market policies: a case of evidence-based policy-making?

P Robinson

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 16, issue 1, pages 13-26
Published in print March 2000 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online March 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/16.1.13
Active labour-market policies: a case of evidence-based policy-making?

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The 1990s was a decade of renewed enthusiasm for active labour-market policies. However, it is not clear that this was the result of an appreciation of the evidence on the effectiveness of different policies. Relatively simple and cost-effective initiatives to improve matching and to enhance job search appear to have a significant impact on employment. Training programmes generally do not produce better outcomes. There is no convincing evidence that work programmes improve employment and recruitment subsidies often suffer from low take-up. However, a strategy appears to be emerging in the UK and the USA, by design or by accident, of trying to use job search-focused programmes to move people into regular employment and then to subsidize households, especially with children, so that their net incomes can come above the poverty line. Most of this expenditure could be classified as good, old-fashioned fiscal redistribution to the poor.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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