Active Labour-Market Policies: A Case of Evidence-Based Policy-Making?
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. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.
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