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Assessing Active Labor Market Policies in Transition Economies

  • H. Lehmann
  • J. Kluve

With the beginning of economic reform in the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), open unemployment rapidly reached levels comparable to those in Western economies. Governments in the region reacted to this rise by adopting active labour market policies (ALMP) as an important tool in the fight against unemployment. Before reviewing the evidence on the efficacy of such policies we look at the scope and the rationale of ALMP measures in a transitional context. Since government budgets are very tight in these countries it is important to evaluate ALMP in a rigorous fashion. The paper analyses macroeconometric and microeconometric methods of program evaluation as they were applied in transition economies. Both these approaches have a raison d’être and should be understood as complementing. Providing a selective review of the literature, it is possible to highlight some of the strengths and the pitfalls of the two approaches. We also point to the lessons one can draw from the surveyed studies for a better understanding of how active measures affect labour market outcomes in this set of countries.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 646.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:646
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  1. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C, 1995. "Active Labour Market Policies, Job Matching and the Czech Miracle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1302, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jochen Kluve, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," RWI Discussion Papers 0037, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  3. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jennie E. Raymond, 1993. "The Effect of Creaming on Placement Rates under the Job Training Partnership Act," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 613-624, July.
  4. Boeri, Tito, 1997. "Learning from Transition Economies: Assessing Labor Market Policies across Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 366-384, December.
  5. Martina Lubyova & Jan C. van Ours, 1998. "Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 213, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. J. Kluve & H. Lehmann & C. M. Schmidt, 2007. "Disentangling Treatment Effects of Active Labor Market Policies: The Role of Labor Force Status Sequences," Working Papers 620, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  7. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  8. John Micklewright & Nagy Gyula, 2005. "Job Search Monitoring and Unemployment Duration in Hungary: Evidence from a Randomised Control Trial," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 0509, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  9. Heckman, James J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2003. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," IZA Discussion Papers 798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Jackman, Richard & Layard, Richard, 1991. "Does Long-term Unemployment Reduce a Person's Chance of a Job? A Time-Series Test," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 93-106, February.
  12. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  13. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  14. Boeri, Tito & Lehmann, Hartmut, 1999. "Unemployment and Labor Market Policies in Transition Countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-3, March.
  15. Tito Boeri, 1994. ""Transitional" unemployment," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, 03.
  16. Núria Rodríguez-Planas & Benus Jacob, 2010. "Evaluating active labor market programs in Romania," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 65-84, February.
  17. 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.
  18. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  20. Lehmann, Hartmut, 1995. "Active labor market policies in the OECD and in selected transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1502, The World Bank.
  21. Burgess, Simon M, 1993. "A Model of Competition between Unemployed and Employed Job Searchers: An Application to the Unemployment Outflow Rate in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1190-204, September.
  22. Aakvik, Arild & Heckman, James J. & Vytlacil, Edward J., 2005. "Estimating treatment effects for discrete outcomes when responses to treatment vary: an application to Norwegian vocational rehabilitation programs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 15-51.
  23. 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.
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