A case for including fiscal policies in the Eurostat Labour Market Policy database
In the context of the growing coordination of labour market policies (LMP) implementation within the European Employment Strategy (EES), the Eurostat offers a harmonised database that intends to be a valuable instrument for international comparisons in the field. However, because its tight scope fails to include some important LMP measures, this database has been playing a small role on studies related with the EES as well on those broadly focusing on labour market and employment policies. This paper intends to address, by using meaningful LMP measures - tax credits in the UK, the prime pour l'emploi and general reductions of employers’ social contributions in France -, the importance of having a more comprehensive database, while maintaining its current structure. For that we discuss the aims and the level of targeting defined by the Eurostat and we include, under this framework, an assessment of these measures to illustrate the limits of the database. We conclude that these policies - apparently fitting the broad objectives of the EES - are explicitly targeted to the labour market, aim at improving its efficiency and undoubtedly benefit particular groups. Moreover, they have an important impact in terms of participants and expenditure involved.
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