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What Can Active Labour Market Policies Do?

  • Kelly, Elish
  • McGuinness, Seamus
  • O'Connell, Philip J.

Ireland faces a crisis of mass unemployment. More than 14 per cent of the labour force is unemployed, and long-term unemployment is growing rapidly. Active labour market policies (ALMPs) - consisting of a range of assistance, training and employment programmes to support the unemployed back to work - have been held out as an essential part of the policy response to unemployment. This paper examines a wide range of national and international research on the effectiveness of ALMPs to ask: i) what do ALMPs do for the unemployed?, ii) are some programmes more effective than others? iii) what can we expect ALMPs to achieve in a recession? The paper shows that while research on the impact of active labour market programmes is far from conclusive and faces a number of difficult methodological challenges, it does provide a basis on which to identify the types of programmes that have been found to enhance the employment prospects of their unemployed clients.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number EC1.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:ec1
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