Actief arbeidsmarktbeleid: effectiever dan vaak wordt aangenomen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Active labour market policies: more effective than is often assumed

Active labour market policies: more effective than is often assumed

Active labour market policy aims at improving the functioning of the labour market. By providing employers and jobseekers with labour market information and job mediation and applying specific reintegration measures to the unemployed, it tries to improve the matching between vacancies and jobseekers, to reduce the level of unemployment, to make job chances more equal and to stimulate employment. A review of the international literature shows that a majority of the available studies point to positive effects of active policies on job entry chances. However, there are strong differences between the different types of measures. For incentives for jobseekers (sanctions, bonuses, etc.), job counseling and placement subsidies the evidence for favourable (net) effects is clear. The available studies show mixed results for training. For subsidized (‘artificial’) labour most studies find no effects or negative effects. The results also differ between groups. Active policies seem to be more effective for women than for men, more effective for older persons than for the young and more effective for the disadvantaged than for those with a relative good profile in the labour market. The effects on job entry chances are probably small on average. The latter is also true for the macroeconomic effects. The effects might be bigger if one knew more about the effectiveness of the various measures for different groups. Then a more optimal use of measures might be possible. Evaluation is needed to get this information. However, currently hardly any evaluation research is done in the Netherlands.


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