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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2011): Social security - overseas

Does active labour market policy have an impact on social marginalization?

K.N. Breidahl and S.L. Clement

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 44, 2010, p. 845-864

Since the 1970s, Danish active labour market policies (ALMP) have aimed to both increase employment and prevent social marginalisation. However, most evaluations have focused on employment or self-sufficiency as the dependent variable. This article argues that the assessment of active labour market policies must include their social impact. It analyses the impact of ALMP participation on the social marginalisation of long term unemployed people, and also explores individual participants' own assessment of the impact of activation programmes on their self-esteem. Using data from a survey of unemployed people in Denmark conducted in 2007, the first analysis reveals no systematic correlation between ALMP participation and any of the social marginalisation indicators. The second analysis presents a more mixed picture of participants' assessment of the impact of ALMP on their self-esteem; some are quite positive, while others are more neutral or even rather negative.

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