Effects of public employment services on labor transitions: an analysis for the Spanish case

Patricia Suárez (Department of Economics, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Begoña Cueto (Department of Economics, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Matías Mayor (Department of Economics, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 30 September 2014



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the influence of public employment services (PES) on transitions from unemployment.


The likelihood of exit from unemployment is explained by a multinomial logit model which takes into account the target state of the transition (unemployment, employment or inactivity). In order to analyze the unobserved heterogeneity, the model has been estimated using a Generalized Linear Latent and Mixed Models.


The analysis suggests that the contribution of PES to improving labor market outcomes is low in the case of transitions to employment. Nevertheless, PES play an important role in workforce dropout prevention.

Practical implications

The results suggest that redesign and modernization are needed to improve PES performance. More intensive job counselling should be provided so that PES get beyond workforce dropout prevention and start having clear positive effects on placement. Target groups should be defined more clearly so as to ensure sustainable transitions for individuals at risk of exclusion. PES should focus on the most disadvantaged jobseekers and those who need more help to get jobs.


First, the results highlight the role PES play in reducing inactivity rates. Second, this is the first study in Spain that uses Labor Force Survey (LFS) data to evaluate PES in a dynamic framework. The LFS is the only data source which allows us to relate people registered unemployed to people considered unemployed by international standards.



Part of this work was done while Patricia Suárez was visiting research fellow in the Labor Economics research group at the University of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain), whose support is gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks are due to Professor Luis Toharia Cortés for his kind support and generosity. Patricia Suárez would also like to thank the financial support provided by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of Spain (FPU Grant). The usual disclaimer applies.


Suárez, P., Cueto, B. and Mayor, M. (2014), "Effects of public employment services on labor transitions: an analysis for the Spanish case", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 996-1015. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-05-2014-0109

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