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Contingent Convergence: A Comparative Analysis of Activation Policies

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  • Eichhorst, Werner

    () (IZA)

  • Konle-Seidl, Regina

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

The trend towards activation has been one of the major issues in recent welfare and labour market reforms in Europe and the US. Despite considerable initial variation across national models with respect to the scope and intensity of activation, redefining the link between social protection and labour market policies on the one hand and employment on the other has been a common issue in labour market reforms. The paper shows the development of activation policies in terms of basic principles, instruments, target groups and governance in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the US, Sweden and Denmark. It assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of activation policies in terms of bringing the jobless into work and ensuring sustainable independence from social benefits. Based on national activation trajectories, the paper argues that we can observe a contingent convergence of instruments, target groups, governance modes and outcomes so that established typologies of activation strategies have to be questioned.

Suggested Citation

  • Eichhorst, Werner & Konle-Seidl, Regina, 2008. "Contingent Convergence: A Comparative Analysis of Activation Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 3905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3905
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Torben M. Andersen & Michael Svarer, 2007. "Flexicurity: Labour Market Performance in Denmark," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(3), pages 389-429, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2010. "Croatia : Social Impact of the Crisis and Building Resilience," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2903, The World Bank.
    2. Seamus McGuinness & Philip J. O’Connell & Elish Kelly, 2013. "Carrots, No Stick, No Driver: The Employment Impact of Job Search Assistance in a Regime with Minimal Monitoring and Sanctions," Working Papers 201308, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    3. Bea Cantillon, 2012. "GINI DP 52: Virtuous Cycles or Vicious Circles? The Need for an EU Agenda on Protection, Social Distribution and Investment," GINI Discussion Papers 52, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    4. Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J., 2011. "What Can Active Labour Market Policies Do?," Papers EC1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Ive Marx & Lina Salanauskaite & Gerlinde Verbist, 2013. "GINI DP 82: The paradox of redistribution revisited: and that it may rest in peace?," GINI Discussion Papers 82, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    6. Sarah Marchal & Mechelen, N. van, 2013. "GINI DP 87: Activation strategies within European minimum income schemes," GINI Discussion Papers 87, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    7. repec:aia:ginidp:dp51 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J. & Kelly, Elish & Walsh, John R., 2011. "Activation in Ireland: An Evaluation of the National Employment Action Plan," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS20.
    9. Verónica Escudero, 2018. "Are active labour market policies effective in activating and integrating low-skilled individuals? An international comparison," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-26, December.
    10. Silvia Avram & Mike Brewer & Andrea Salvatori, 2016. "Can’t work or won’t work: quasi-experimental evidence on work search requirements for single parents," IFS Working Papers W16/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Sarah Marchal & Ive Marx & Natascha Van Mechelen, 2016. "Minimum income protection in the austerity tide," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, December.
    12. McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J. & Kelly, Elish, 2011. "Carrots without Sticks: The Impacts of Job Search Assistance in a Regime with Minimal Monitoring and Sanctions," Papers WP409, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    13. Ive Marx & Lina Salanauskaite & Gerlinde Verbist, 2013. "The paradox of redistribution revisited: and that it may rest in peace?," LIS Working papers 593, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    14. Zimmermann, Katharina. & Fuertes, Venesa., 2014. "Employment policy implementation mechanisms in the European Union, the United Kingdom and Germany," ILO Working Papers 994856443402676, International Labour Organization.
    15. Natascha Van Mechelen & Sarah Marchal, 2013. "Trends and convergence of Europe’s minimum income schemes," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/11, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    16. Franziska Gassmann & Daphne Francois & Lorena Zardo Trindade, 2015. "Improving Labor Market Outcomes for Poor and Vulnerable Groups in Mongolia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23671, The World Bank.
    17. Molander, Anders & Torsvik, Gaute, 2013. "Getting People Into Work: What (If Anything) Can Justify Mandatory Activation Of Welfare Recipients?," Working Papers in Economics 03/13, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    18. Marchal, Sarah & Marx, Ive & Van Mechelen, Natascha, 2011. "Do Europe's Minimum Income Schemes Provide Adequate Shelter against the Economic Crisis and How, If at All, Have Governments Responded?," IZA Discussion Papers 6264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Marx, Ive & Salanauskaite, Lina & Verbist, Gerlinde, 2013. "The Paradox of Redistribution Revisited: And That It May Rest in Peace?," IZA Discussion Papers 7414, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. repec:ilo:ilowps:485644 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    activation; active labor market policies; unemployment insurance; social assistance;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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