The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of activation policies in contexts of public-oriented employment services.
The fieldwork was conducted in Italy, using the regional case of Emilia-Romagna as a representation of public-oriented models. The empirical research relies primarily on quantitative research methods by means of impact evaluations based on very rich and recent administrative data that includes 20,014 observations. These are integrated with some interesting insights from qualitative research tools by means of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in the fieldwork.
The overall level of effectiveness of activation policies does not seem to be particularly high. However, the results show that, to some extent, there are more advantages for job seekers furthest from the labor market. The stronger efforts made to assist those disadvantaged groups are probably related to a loss in the overall effectiveness of the system.
This analysis has focused on a substantially homogeneous and economically developed region. Indeed, Italian activation policy reforms have been implemented differently in different areas of the country. Similar to other Southern European countries, they are characterized by regional fragmentation and implementation gaps in activation policies.
The findings of the present study are relevant to policymakers who deal with activation policies and to both public and nonpublic organizations involved in this field. It seems plausible to support the possibility that public-oriented models could represent a proficient alternative to proposals relying heavily on market-based interventions. Such evidence becomes particularly interesting in the aftermath of the Great Recession when this model is confronted with the consequences of the economic crisis.
The paper adds to the literature on public-oriented models, while overcoming some of the limitations of earlier research, which has been restricted mainly to cases with early traditions of marketized services.
Scarano, G. (2020), "Alternative models of activation policies: the experience of public oriented services", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 40 No. 3/4, pp. 382-408. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-01-2020-0011Download as .RIS
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