Working Papers

Active Labor-Market Policy

Its Content, Effectiveness, And Odd Relation To Evaluation Research

It is no news that the desire to work is everywhere exceeding the supply of jobs. Whatever the cyclical fluctuations, rich democracies have since the early 1970s experienced the unhappy combination of accelerated rates of general labor-force participation and rising unemployment insurance and welfare costs for selected groups: displaced workers in their prime, as well as the hard-to-employ young, minorities, handicapped, single mothers, displaced horaenakers, and older men. Although national strategies for coping with these problems are diverse, there is increasing recognition that a major tradeoff can be made between expensive, passive policies that make no contribution to human resource use and what has come to be known as “active labormarket policy.”