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Does Active Labour Market Policy Work? Lessons from the Swedish Experiences

  • Lars Calmfors
  • Anders Forslund
  • Maria Hemström

The Swedish experiences of the 1990s provide a unique example of how large-scale active labour market programmes (ALMPs) have been used as a means to fight high unemployment. This paper surveys the empirical studies of the effects of ALMPs in Sweden. On the whole, ALMPs have probably reduced open unemployment, but also reduced regular employment. The overall policy conclusion is that ALMPs of the scale used in Sweden in the 1990s are not an efficient means of employment policy. To be effective, ALMPs should be used on a smaller scale.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 675.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_675
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  1. Calmfors, Lars & Skedinger, Per, 1995. "Does Active Labour-Market Policy Increase Employment? Theoretical Considerations and Some Empirical Evidence from Sweden," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 91-109, Spring.
  2. Holmlund, B. & Linden, J., 1991. "Job Matching, Temporary Public Employment, and Equilibrium Unemployment," Papers 1991l, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  3. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Survey evidence on wage rigidity and unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Working Paper Series 1999:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Newell, A. & Symons, J. S. V., 1987. "Corporatism, laissez-faire and the rise in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 567-601, April.
  5. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  6. Carling, Kenneth & Edin, Per-Anders & Harkman, Anders & Holmlund, Bertil, 1996. "Unemployment duration, unemployment benefits, and labor market programs in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 313-334, March.
  7. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
  8. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  9. Fredriksson, P., 1995. "The Dynamics of Regional Labour Markets and Active Labour Market Policy: Swedish Evidence," Papers 1995-20, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. Olle Westerlund, 1998. "Internal Migration in Sweden: The Effects of Mobility Grants and Regional Labour Market Conditions," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 12(2), pages 363-388, 07.
  11. Calmfors, Lars, 1995. "Labour market policy and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 583-592, April.
  12. Calmfors, Lars & Lang, Harald, 1995. "Macroeconomic Effects of Active Labour Market Programmes in a Union Wage-Setting Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 601-19, May.
  13. Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Differential effects of Swedish active labour market programmes for unemployed adults during the 1990s," IFS Working Papers W01/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
  17. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  18. Calmfors, Lars & Forslund, Anders, 1991. "Real-Wage Determination and Labour Market Policies: The Swedish Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1130-48, September.
  19. Fukushima, Yoshihiko, 1998. "Active Labour Market Programmes and Unemployment in a Dual Labour Market," Research Papers in Economics 1998:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  20. Carling, Kenneth & Richardson, Katarina, 2001. "The relative efficiency of labor market programs: Swedish experience from the 1990's," Working Paper Series 2001:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  21. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
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