Active Labor Market Policies

Bruno Crépon, Gerard J. Van Den Berg

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Active labor market policies are massively used with the objective being to improve labor market outcomes of individuals out of work. Many observational evaluation studies have been published. In this review, we critically assess policy effectiveness. We emphasize insights from recent randomized controlled trials. In addition, we examine policy effects that have not been the primary object of most of the past evaluations, such as anticipatory effects of advance knowledge of future treatments and equilibrium effects, and we discuss the actual implementation of policies. We discuss the importance of heterogeneity of programs and effects and examine the extent to which potential participants are interested in enrollment. We also discuss the assessment of costs and benefits of programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-546
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Economics
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016


  • Active labor market program
  • Evaluation
  • Job search assistance
  • Matching
  • Subsidized jobs training
  • Unemployment
  • Wages


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