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Do Active Labor Market Policies Increase Employment?

  • Marcello M. Estevão

Using panel data for 15 industrial countries, active labor market policies (ALMPs) are shown to have raised employment rates in the business sector in the 1990s, after controlling for many institutions, country-specific effects, and economic variables. Among such policies, direct subsidies to job creation were the most effective. ALMPs also affected employment rates by reducing real wages below levels allowed by technological growth, changes in the unemployment rate, and institutional and other economic factors. However, part of this wage moderation may be linked to a composition effect because policies were targeted to low-paid individuals. Whether ALMPs are cost-effective from a budgetary perspective remains to be determined, but they are certainly not substitutes for comprehensive institutional reforms.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/234.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/234
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  1. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  3. Calmfors, Lars & Forslund, Anders & Hemström, Maria, 2002. "Does active labour market policy work? Lessons from the Swedish experiences," Working Paper Series 2002:4, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Philip Arestis & Andrew Brown & Malcolm Sawyer, 2001. "The Euro," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2294, December.
  5. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Calmfors, L. & Skedinger, P., 1995. "Does Active Labour Market Policy Increase Employment? - Theoretical Considerations and Some Empirical Evidence from Sweden," Papers 590, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
  9. John P. Martin, 1998. "What Works Among Active Labour Market Policies: Evidence From OECD Countries' Experiences," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
  10. Richard Jackman & Richard Layard & Stephen J Nickell, 1996. "Combating unemployment: is flexibility enough?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2214, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Marcello M. Estevão & Nigar Nargis, 2002. "Wage Moderation in France," IMF Working Papers 02/151, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  13. 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.
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