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Long time series for public expenditure on labour market programmes


  • David Grubb


  • Agnès Puymoyen



The OECD has collected data for public expenditure on labour market programmes (LMPs) continuously since the mid-1980s. For most longstanding Member countries, data according to a consistent classification system and definition of scope are available for reference years 1985 to 2002. Starting with reference year 1998, Eurostat started collecting and publishing data according to a somewhat different classification system and definition of scope. In line with agreements for bilateral coordination of data collection, the OECD after some time adopted - for non-Eurostat OECD Member countries as well as Eurostat countries – most of the features of the Eurostat system. This allows the OECD to use data collected by Eurostat rather than making a separate data request to the 20 Eurostat countries that are members of the OECD. OECD data according to the “new” classification and definition of scope are generally available for reference year 2002 onwards, or 1998 onwards for Eurostat countries. These data are often used in time-series applications, e.g. for documenting long-term trends in total social expenditure (ìn which labour market programmes are one component), or in time-series regressions that attempt to estimate the impact of training programmes vs. job-creation programmes on unemployment. It is no longer practicable to do such work using only the “old” data which stop in 2002 or the “new” data which start in 2002 or 1998. If the two data sets are combined using crude extrapolation and splicing techniques, time-series movements will result primarily from statistical breaks (i.e. changes in definition and coverage of the statistics) rather than real changes in spending patterns. L’OCDE a rassemblé des données pour les dépenses publiques au titre des programmes du marché du travail (PMT) de façon continue depuis le milieu des années 80. Pour la plupart des pays membres de longue date, des données selon un système de catégories et une définition du champ cohérents sont disponibles pour les années de référence 1985 à 2002. A partir de l’année de référence 1998, Eurostat a rassemblé et publié des données selon un système de catégories et une définition du champ modifiés. En conformité avec des accords bilatéraux concernant la collecte des données, après un certain temps l’OCDE a adopté – pour les pays membres non Eurostat autant que pour les pays Eurostat – la plupart des caractéristiques du système Eurostat. Cette approche permet à l’OCDE d’utiliser les données collectées par Eurostat plutôt que d’adresser des requêtes de données séparées aux 20 pays Eurostat membres de l’OCDE. Le données OCDE selon les « nouvelles » catégories et définition du champ sont le plus souvent disponibles à partir de l’année de référence 2002, ou à partir de 1998 pour les pays Eurostat. Ces données servent souvent en séries temporelles, par exemple pour documenter les tendances à long terme dans les dépenses sociales totales (les PMT en étant une composante) ou dans les régressions temporelles qui visent à estimer l’impact sur le chômage des programmes de formation ou bien des programmes de créations d’emplois. Ces travaux ne sont plus faisables en se servant uniquement de données « anciennes » qui s’arrêtent en 2002 ou des données « nouvelles » qui démarrent en 2002 ou en 1998. Si les deux bases de données sont regroupées avec des techniques d’extrapolation et de raccordements crues, les variations temporelles seront principalement le reflet de ruptures statistiques plutôt que des changements réels dans la distribution des dépenses.

Suggested Citation

  • David Grubb & Agnès Puymoyen, 2008. "Long time series for public expenditure on labour market programmes," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 73, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:73-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Millán, Ana & Millán, José María & Román, Concepción & van Stel, André, 2013. "How does employment protection legislation influence hiring and firing decisions by the smallest firms?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 444-448.
    2. Jun Nie & Ethan Struby, 2011. "Would active labor market policies help combat high U.S. unemployment?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 35-69.
    3. Jason Heyes & Ludek Rychly (ed.), 2013. "Labour Administration in Uncertain Times," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15525.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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