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Active Labour-Market Policies: A Case of Evidence-Based Policy-Making?


  • Robinson, Peter


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Robinson, Peter, 2000. "Active Labour-Market Policies: A Case of Evidence-Based Policy-Making?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 13-26, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:16:y:2000:i:1:p:13-26

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    Cited by:

    1. Jovan, Zubovic & Jonel, Subic, 2011. "Reviewing development of active labour market policies and the evaluation techniques," MPRA Paper 35282, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Oct 2011.
    2. Berthold, Norbert & von Berchem, Sascha, 2003. "Job-AQTIV, Hartz, Agenda 2010: Aufbruch zu neuen Ufern oder viel Lärm um Nichts?," Discussion Paper Series 66, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    3. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2004. "Does 'Work for the Dole' Work?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n14, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Zubović, Jovan & Simeunović, Ivana, 2012. "On the New Methodology of Cost‐Benefit Analysis of ALMP – The Case of Serbia," MPRA Paper 42532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Jeremy L. Hall, 2009. "Evidence-Based Practice and the Use of Information in State Agency Decision-Making," Working Papers 2009-10, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    6. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2003. "How Do Administrative Arrangements Affect Exit from Unemployment Payments? The Case of the Job Seeker Diary in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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