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Active Labour Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis

  • David Card
  • Jochen Kluve
  • Andrea Weber

This article presents a meta-analysis of recent microeconometric evaluations of active labour market policies. We categorise 199 programme impacts from 97 studies conducted between 1995 and 2007. Job search assistance programmes yield relatively favourable programme impacts, whereas public sector employment programmes are less effective. Training programmes are associated with positive medium-term impacts, although in the short term they often appear ineffective. We also find that the outcome variable used to measure programme impact matters, but neither the publication status of a study nor the use of a randomised design is related to the sign or significance of the programme estimate. Copyright � 2010 TheAuthor(s). The Economic Journal � 2010 Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 548 (November)
Pages: F452-F477

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:548:p:f452-f477
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  1. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Waller, Marie, 2007. "Which Program for Whom? Evidence on the Comparative Effectiveness of Public Sponsored Training Programs in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Richardson, Katarina & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2002. "The effect of vocational employment training on the individual transition rate from unemployment to work," Working Paper Series 2002:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Bergemann, Annette & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2006. "Active Labor Market Policy Effects for Women in Europe: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael, 2000. "Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Guido M. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Orley Ashenfelter, 1986. "The Case for Evaluating Training Programs with Randomized Trials," Working Papers 583, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  9. David H. Greenberg & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2003. "A meta-analysis of government-sponsored training programs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 31-53, October.
  10. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 1489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," NBER Working Papers 12893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Swedish System of Active Labor Market Programs in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 133-155, February.
  13. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2006. "Evaluating the Differential Effects of Alternative Welfare-to-Work Training Components: A Reanalysis of the California GAIN Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 521-566, July.
  14. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  15. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2006. "Active Labour Market Policy in East Germany: Waiting for the Economy to Take Off," CEPR Discussion Papers 5924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2002. "Can training and employment subsidies combat European unemployment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 409-448, October.
  17. Jespersen, Svend T. & Munch, Jakob R. & Skipper, Lars, 2008. "Costs and benefits of Danish active labour market programmes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 859-884, October.
  18. Kluve, Jochen, 2010. "The effectiveness of European active labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 904-918, December.
  19. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
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