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New topics in the strategy for evidence-based policy-making

Besides compiling evidence about active measures, the agency also collects evidence and literature about relevant topics such as nudging, profiling, progression factors, and implementation.

The main track in the evidence strategy is the compilation of evidence about active measures. However, besides compiling evidence about active measures, STAR also compiles evidence about various other topics related to employment policy.

Nudging

Nudge theory was named and popularized by the 2008 book, 'Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness', written by American academics Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. The book is firmly grounded in the Nobel prize-winning work of the Israeli-American psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Nudge is about helping the unemployed, caseworkers and businesses to do what is in their own interests without eliminating choices.

STAR works systematically to compile evidence about the effects of nudging in labour market policy in three focus areas (the unemployed, caseworkers and businesses).

Today STAR uses nudging in the implementation of reforms and runs several RCTs. One example of this is the use of emails that include a link to a check-list of good job search advice in order to encourage the newly unemployed to optimise their job search activity and be better prepared for their first caseworker interview.  

Profiling

Profiling is about the extrapolation of information about the unemployed in order to estimate who is likely to be gain employment quickly and who is at risk of long-term unemployment. STAR has set up a profiling model for young unemployed persons without an education using an econometric data mining model. Today this model is implemented at job centres. STAR is also examining the possibilities for separate profiling of uninsured and insured unemployed persons, respectively.

Progression factors

In order to build up a base of knowledge about whether vulnerable unemployed persons are getting closer to finding employment, STAR is gathering evidence on progression factors – i.e. factors that are correlated with employment. For example, if the factor ‘self-rated health’ is correlated with employment, this factor present new information that can be utilised by the unemployed, their family as well as their caseworker at the job centre. At present researchers are on behalf of STAR collecting evidence from Danish and international literature about factors correlated to employment, and several projects include research on progression factors.

Implementation

In order to build up knowledge about how to support the implementation of reforms in the Danish employment system, STAR has compiled existing evidence from the Danish and international literature on the implementation of measures that have proven effective. In addition, STAR has engaged job centres in a survey to provides examples of which implementation tools practitioners find most useful. STAR has furthermore decided to systematically evaluate implementation measures in implementation projects, experimental projects as well as reforms.

Last updated: 06-07-2020