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Completed project

A comparative analysis of the impact of efforts to improve the labour market prospects of youth with weak labour market attachment in The Nordic countries

Project period 2014 - 2016
Project employer Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Project nr. 10065
Project leader Inés Hardoy

Project Background

A main ambition of labour market programs is that young people with impaired work capacity and weak labour market attachment are given the opportunity to get a foothold in the labour market. Research shows that periods outside employment or education at a young age can have long-term consequences.

Project Purpose

The purpose of this project was to map and systematize scientific research in the Nordic countries dealing with the effects of measures intended to insert/maintain vulnerable young people into the labour market. Our target group is young people between 15 and 30 years.

In the comparative analysis we include Germany, the UK and the Netherlands in addition to the five Nordic countries. These are countries that are similar to a greater or lesser extent in terms of culture, history, institutions and labour market functioning. Similarities, and contrasts between measures, countries and over time can contribute to a better understanding of their impact across the region.

Based on the literature collected we construct a data set which is in turn used to carry out a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis is a statistical tool used to summarize many different and sometimes contradictory results and is intended to provide more solid evidence of what is reliable, durable and robust research results relative to what can be obtained from individual studies.

Project Results

All in all, the meta-analysis comprises approximately 425 effect estimates from 44 different research projects. Our conclusions confirm that training and wage subsidies give rise to more positive effect than work practice and public employment measures. It is also worth noting that the estimates tend to be more positive over time, which may indicate that a learning process occurs such that the measures are gradually becoming more efficient.

However, there is a large variation in the reported estimates, from clearly positive to definitely negative, which may indicate that there is indeed a significant variation in how well programs work for the target group they are designed for. In other words, there is no silver bullet. What is clear is that there are numerous examples of measures that seem to have had a positive impact, and that properly designed measures have the potential to help young people into work or further education.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Inés Hardoy Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 472 45 113
Tao Zhang
Knut Røed
Caroline Hall
Brian Krogh Graversen
Kristine von Simson
Tags: Working Life
Published Sep. 18, 2014 11:09 AM - Last modified Dec. 8, 2017 9:16 AM