Well, I’m not really sure that you can do this but I tried it as an experiment: Take the numbers for “active labour market policy” expenditure and divide them by the figures for standardised unemployment. The idea was to correct the data for active labour market policies for the fluctuations in unemployment.
The figure looks a bit odd – not so much because most of the OECD countries are huddled together in the lower end of the scale but because of the data for Sweden. Just as Swedish unemployment sky-rockets (at least in a Swedish perspective), ALM measures decline. On the other hand Denmark and the Netherlands steadily increase their ALM programmes.
This is an edited figure, showing only data from some of the OECD countries:
The indexes for Denmark and the Netherlands are not so surprising – the 1990s were the “flexicurity” and “polder miracle” years. Here, the Danish figure begin to increase from around 1993 and this is good news for those looking for a simple explanation: That could easily be the result of the change in government in January 1993. Also, the values for Denmark and the Netherlands decline after the changes in government in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
And mayne this is where some of the Swedish money went?