Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 2 2005, page 27-37.
Educational activation and supported job
Downgraded on a false basis
Henning Hansen, Mette Marie Juul og Flemming Jakobsen
The use of education as an instrument of labour market policy has been highly disputed in Denmark during the last 5-10 years. In its 2002 programme “Flere I arbejde” (More at work), the Danish right wing government has downgraded the importance of education. Education has too little effect, the government argues. But the argument rests on disputable employment effects as it is necessary to measure effects over a longer period because education works more slowly than wage subsidies or other employment instruments.
In this article, we discuss different methods of measuring employment effects which have been used in Denmark during the last 10 years, and debate – their advantages and their disadvantages. Moreover we have carried out new analyses of employment effects by using different instruments (especially education) over a period of four and a half years. These results show that education is a relatively good instrument for bringing unemployed people into employment. Education works slowly but gives more stable results. Our analyses are not without problems but they indicate that the Danish government should revise their employment instruments on the basis of new and better analyses which should be carried out over a longer period of time.