Employment policies have grown enormously in France. Public expenditure on labour market policies currently represents 4% of GDP (DARES, 2009). Whereas conventional policies – subsidised jobs, training programmes and early retirement schemes – affected fewer than 3 million beneficiaries, the Prime pour l’emploi (tax credit for low-wage employees) affects 7 million, and more than 10 million low-wage jobs are partially exempted from social security contributions.

Employment policies take a variety of forms: work incentives to stimulate labour supply (Prime pour l’emploi, Revenu de solidarité active), low-wage subsidies to increase labour demand (exemptions from social security contributions, supported jobs), intermediation and providing assistance for job seekers, training, etc. Evaluating the impact of these measures is not sufficient ; the coherence of these mechanisms with one another should also be evaluated, as well as with the tax and transfer system and with macroeconomic policies (minimum wage setting). The implementation of these policies at the micro-economic level should also be analysed.

IPP Focus. The work of IPP researchers relates in particular to low wage workers, the 35-hour working week and the reorganisations of companies, personalised support for job-seekers and anti-discrimination policies. The range of methods used is wide: from econometric analysis of survey data or of administrative data to ex ante modelling, with a new emphasis on social experimentation.

Programme Director: Thomas Breda

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