Activation Policies in OECD Countries: An Overview of Current Approaches

This note summarizes activation policy strategies in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Policy makers can choose from a broad menu of options. Each of them comes with potential strengths and weaknesses, but there can also be important links between them. To understand countries' overall activation stance, it is useful to look across individual policy measures. The note considers benefit generosity and work incentives (section two); eligibility conditions and obligations of job seekers and benefit recipients (section three); and active labor market programs (ALMPs) (section four). Section five characterizes aspects of countries' overall policy stance by discussing the balance of policies and links between them. A concluding section suggests priorities for knowledge work in World Bank client countries.