OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers

  • Discontinued
This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market and social policy studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.


Enhancing the Effectiveness of Active Labour Market Policies

Evidence from Programme Evaluations in OECD Countries

This publication reviews the recent evidence from programme evaluations on the effectiveness of active labour market policies (ALMPs) in helping unemployed individuals return to work. ALMPs differ widely in their objectives and their impacts, both across countries and within countries over time. Programme evaluations attempt to determine the impact of various ALMPs, both for the individual and on society at large. Individual impacts are usually measured in terms of post-programme earnings and/or employment performance. Societal impacts include an estimation of deadweight, displacement and substitution effects, along with some accounting for possible externalities. Recent evaluations suggest some ALMPs can help most groups of the unemployed. Many unemployed benefit from early intervention through the provision of counselling and job-search assistance. Others benefit through targeted employment subsidies, particularly in the private sector. The picture is more mixed with respect to ...


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