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Active Labor Market Policies and the British New Deal for the Young Unemployed in Context

In: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000

  • John Van Reenen

The British New Deal for Young People began in January 1998. After 6 months of unemployment, 18-24 year olds are mandated to enter a `Gateway' period where they are given extensive job search assistance. If they are unable to obtain an unsubsidised job, then they can enter one of four New Deal options. One of these is a job subsidy ( employers' option'), the others involve full-time education and training, government-provided employment ( environmental task force') or voluntary work. In this paper I evaluate the New Deal in a historical and international context. The toughening of the work search criterion has evolved since the Restart initiative in 1986. Using either the age-related eligibility criteria and/or a comparison of pilot and non-pilot areas results suggest that there has been a significant increase in outflows to employment due to the New Deal. Unemployed young men are now about 20% more likely to get jobs as a result of the policy (the stock of youth employment is about 17,000 higher than it would be without the New Deal). Much of this effect is likely to be because of the take up of the employer wage subsidy, but at least a fifth of the effect is due to enhanced job search. Taken as a whole I conclude that the social benefits of the New Deal outweigh the costs.

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This chapter was published in:
  • David Card & Richard Blundell & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card04-1, July.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6754.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6754
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Counselling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Controlled Social Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Brian Bell & Richard Blundell & John Reenen, 1999. "Getting the Unemployed Back to Work: The Role of Targeted Wage Subsidies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 339-360, August.
    3. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1995. "The Impact of Restart on Reservation Wages and Long-Term Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(4), pages 451-70, November.
    4. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1996. "Unemployment Duration and the Restart Effect: Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 387-400, March.
    5. Nickell, S.J. & van Ours, J.C., 1999. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom : A European Unemployment Miracle?," Discussion Paper 1999-119, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Wage Subsidies for the Disadvantaged," NBER Working Papers 5679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Orley Ashenfelter & David Ashmore & Olivier Deschenes, 1998. "Do Unemployment Insurance Recipients Actively Seek Work? Randomized Trials in Four U.S. States," Working Papers 791, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. Kevin Hollenbeck & Richard J. Willke, 1991. "The Employment and Earnings Impacts of the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 91-07, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    9. Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
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    12. David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "The Declining Economic Status of Young Workers in OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 19-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. van den Berg, G. & van der Klaauw, B. & van Ours, J.C., 1998. "Punitive sanctions and the transition from welfare to work," Discussion Paper 1998-56, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    14. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345.
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    16. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
    17. Jan Boone & Jan C. van Ours, 2000. "Modeling Financial Incentives to Get Unemployed Back to Work," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0973, Econometric Society.
    18. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
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