Mental Health and Access to Active Labor Market Programs
This paper examines the often-overlooked precondition for successful implementation of active labor market policy, namely equal access to labor market programs. Focusing on a cohort of social assistance recipients, we compare program participation between individuals who were eligible for vocational training and had reported psychological distress, to possible participants with other health or social challenges. The study covers a period of six years. The results indicate that social services prioritize training for those without mental health problems. This is true independently of observed differences between the two groups in terms of demographic and human capital characteristics, work motivation and self-efficacy. Hence, the study concludes that there seems to be a mental health access bias in program participation among disadvantaged groups. Policy makers and future research should address possible organizational barriers to equal program access
Askim, J., Fimrete, A.L., Moseley, A. & Pedersen, L.H. (2011). One‐Stop Shops for Social Welfare: The Adaptation of an Organizational Form in Three Countries, Public Administration. Volume 89, Issue 4. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01933.x
Bassi, L.J. (1984). Estimating the effect of training programs with non-random selection, The Review of Economics and Statistics 66(1): 36–43.
Bonoli, G. & Liechti, F. (2018). Good intentions and Matthew effects: access biases in participation in active labour market policies, Journal of European Public Policy 25(6): 894-911. 10.1080/13501763.2017.1401105
Bryant. T., Raphael, D., & Rioux, M. (2010). Staying Alive: Critical Perspectives on Health, Illness and Health Care, 2nd edition, Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.
Cast, A.D. & Bruke, P.J. (2002). A theory of self-esteem, Social Forces 80(3): 1041-1068. doi:10.1353/sof.2002.0003
Caswell, D. & Larsen, F. (2017). Frontline Work in the delivery of Danish Activation Policies: and How Governance, Organizational and Occupational Contexts Shape This. In Van Berkel, R., Caswell, D., Kupka, P. & Larsen, F (Eds.), Frontline Delivery of Welfare-to-Work Policies in Europe: Activating the Unemployed, Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315694474-10
Dahl, E. (2003). Does ‘workfare’ work? The Norwegian experience, International Journal of Social Welfare 12: 274-288. doi:10.1111/1467-9671.00282
Dahl, E. & Lorentzen, T. (2007). Arbeidsrettede tiltak for sosialhjelpsmottakere. Seleksjon, effekter og politiske implikasjoner [Active labour market programs for receipients of social assistance benefits. Selection, effects and political implications], Søkelys på arbeidslivet 2(24): 149-158.
Dahl, E. & van der Wel, K. (2009). Å forske på marginaliserte grupper; noen metodiske og forskningsetiske utfordringer [Doing Research on Marginalized Groups; Methodological and Ethical Challenges], Fontene forskning: et tidsskrift fra Felles-organisasjonen (FO). 2009(1): 54-64.
Duell, N., Singh, S. & Tergeist, P. (2009). Activation Policies in Norway, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 78, OECD Publishing, Paris. doi:10.1787/226388712174
Drucker, P.F. (1954). The Practice of Management, Harper & Row, New York, NY.
Eurostat (2013). Labour market policy statistics - Methodology 2013. Eurostat Manuals and Guidelines. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2013.
Halvorsen, K. (1999). Employment commitment among long-term unemployed in Norway. Is a culture of dependency about to develop? European Journal of Social Work 2(2): 177-192. doi:10.1080/13691459908413816
Hardoy, I. (2005). Impact of multiple labour market programmes on multiple outcomes: the case of Norwegian youth programmes, Labour 19: 425-467. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9914.2005.00312.x
Heckman, J.J., Heinrich, C. & Smith, J. (2002). The performance of performance standards, The Journal of Human Resources 17(4): 778–81
Heckman, J.J. & Smith, J.A. (2004). The determinants of participation in a social program: evidence from a prototypical job training program, Journal of Labor Economics 22(2): 243–298. doi:10.1086/381250
Hellevik, O. (2009). Linear versus logistic regression when the dependent variable is a dichotomy, Quality & Quantity 43(1): 59-74. doi:10.1007/s11135-007-9077-3
Hyggen, C. (2008). Change and stability in work commitment in Norway: from adolescence to adulthood, Journal of Social Policy 37(1): 103-123. doi:10.1017/S0047279407001511
Card, D., Kluve, J., & Weber, A. (2015). What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations. IZA Discussion Paper Series No. 9236. doi:10.3386/w21431
Langeng, P.I. & Dehli, T.K. (2011) Kvalifiseringsprogrammet 2007-2010 [The Qualification Program 2007 – 2010], Nav: Arbeid og Velferd, 2012/1.
Lipsky, M. (1980). Street level bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the individual in public service (30th Anniversary expanded edn in 2010), New York: Russell Sage Foundation
Lægreid, P. & Rykkja, L.H. (2013). Coordinating Norwegian welfare: The NAV reform, COCOPS 2013.
Lødemel, I. & Johannessen, A. (2005). Tiltaksforsøket: Mot en inkluderende arbeidslinje? [The Activation trial: Towards a more inclusive work-line?] HIO-rapport 2005 nr. 1.
Markussen, S. & K. Røed (2016). Leaving Poverty Behind? The Effects of Generous Income Support Paired with Activation. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 8: 180-211. doi:10.1257/pol.20140334
Modini, M., Joyce, S., Mykletun, A., Christensen, H., Bryant, R.A., Mitchell, P.B., et al. (2016). The mental health benefits of employment: Results of a systematic meta-review, Australasian Psychiatry: Bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2016. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC26773063. doi:10.1177/1039856215618523
Murray, C. (1984). Losing Ground, New York: Basic Books.
Nav (2019). Statistics over recipients of disability benefits by diagnosis. nav.no.
Nielsen, V.L. (2006). Are street-level bureaucrats compelled or enticed to cope? Public Administration 84(4): 861–889. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.2006.00616.x
Nordenmark, M. (1999). Employment commitment and psychological well-being among unemployed men and women, Acta Sociologica 42: 135-146. doi:10.1177/000169939904200203
Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion and Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services (2007). National Strategic Plan for Work and Mental Health 2007-2012, Government Administration Services 01/2009.
OECD (2010). Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers. A Synthesis of Findings across OECD Countries, Paris: OECD Publishing. doi:10.1787/9789264088856-en
OECD (2012). Sick on the Job? - Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work, Paris: OECD Publishing. doi:10.1787/22257985
OECD (2013). Mental Health and Work – Norway, Paris: OECD Publishing. doi:10.1787/9789264178984-en
OECD (2015). Fit Mind, Fit Job: From Evidence to Practice in Mental Health and Work, Mental Health and Work, Paris: OECD Publishing.
Parsons, T. (1991). The Social System, Routledge.
Pearlin, L.I. & Schooler, C. (1978). The structure of coping, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 2-21. doi:10.2307/2136319
Roaldsnes, A. (2018). Navs hovedmål sett fra NAV-kontoret - En kvantitativ analyse av overgang til arbeid [NAV's main goal seen from the Nav office - A quantitative analysis of the transition to work], Nav: Rapport 2 // 2018.
Rodriguez-Planas, N. (2010). Channels through which public employment services and small-business assistance programs work, Oxford Bull Econ Stat 72(4):458–485. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0084.2010.00593.x
Rønsen, M. & Skarðhamar, T. (2007). Do welfare-to-work initiatives work? Evidence from an activation programme targeted at social security recipients in Norway, Discussion Papers 519, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
Røysum, A. (2010). Nav-reformen: Sosialarbeidernes profesjon utfordres. [The NAV reform: The profession of social work has been challenged], Fontene forskning Nr. 1 – 2010.
Røysum, A. (2014). Ubehaget ved å forenkle det komplekse [The Discontent in Simplifying the Complexity]. In Ubehaget i sosialt arbeid [Social Work and Its Discontent], edited by Anbjørg Ohnstad, Marianne Rugkåsa, and Signe Ylvisaker, 141–159, Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk.
Schafft, A. & Spjelkavik, Ø. (2011). Evaluering av Kvalifiseringsprogrammet: sluttrapport. [An Evaluation of the Qualification Program: Final Report]. AFI-rapport 4/2011, Oslo: Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet.
Statistics Norway (2017). The Norwegian Labour Force Study ad hoc module on disabled people, Oslo.
Strand, B.J., Dalgard, O.S., Tambs, K. & Rognerud, M. (2003). Measuring the mental health status of the Norwegian population: A comparison of the instruments SCL-25, SCL-10, SCL-5 and MHI-5 (SF-36), Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 57(2): 113-118. doi:10.1080/08039480310000932
Sutton, L., Cebulla, A., Heaver, C. & Smith, N. (2004). Drug and alcohol use as barriers to employment: a review of the literature, CRSP research report; 499s, Loughborough: University for Department for Work and Pensions.
UN CRPD (2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 24 January 2007; A/RES/61/1 06, Available at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html [Accessed October 1, 2019].
van der Wel, K., Dahl, E., Lødemel, I., Løyland, B., Naper, S.O., and Slagsvold, M. (2006). Funksjonsevne bland langtidsmottakere av sosialhjelp (Functional ability of long-term recipients of social assistance benefits), HIO-rapport 2006 nr. 29.
Van Kersbergen, K., Hemerijck, A. (2012). Two decades of change in Europe: the emergence of the social investment state, Journal of Social Policy 41: 475-492. doi:10.1017/S0047279412000050
Warr, P., Cook, J., & Wall, T. (1979). Scales for the measurement of some work attitudes and aspects of psychological well‐being, Journal of occupational Psychology 52(2): 129-148. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8325.1979.tb00448.x
Williams, C. & Johnson, M.R.D. (2010). Race and Ethnicity in a Welfare Society, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Winter, S. & Nielsen, V.L. (2008). Implementering af politik [Implementation of public policy], Århus: Academica.
Zhang, T. (2003). Identifying treatment effects of active labour market programmes for Norwegian adults. Memorandum 26/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
Copyright (c) 2020 Author and Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Copyright Holder of this Journal is the authors and the Journal. This Journal gives Open Access with CreativeCommons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.
You can download all the content of the Journal and share it with others as long as you credit the authors and the journal, but you can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
More specifically this license means that you – authors and users – may:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form as long as you follow the license terms. The freedom to share includes parallel publishing on authors’ own website and in institutional repositories or in ResearchGate after publication in NJWLS, or if you want to reprint your article as part of publication of a PhD-thesis or a dissertation
You may share under these terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the license. Appropriate credit implies that you provide the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. The link used should be its DOI.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. Merely changing the format never creates a derivative.
Exceptions to the license terms may be granted
If you want to use content in the Journal in another way then described by this license, you must contact the licensor and ask for permission. Contact Bo Carstens at email@example.com. Exceptions are always given for specific purposes and specific content only.
The Journal is listed as a blue journal in Sherpa/Romeo, meaning that the author can archive post-print ((ie final draft post-refereeing) and author can archive publisher's version/PDF.
Copyright of others
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.
All published material is archived at Roskilde University Library, Denmark, and transmitted to the Danish Royal Library in conformity with the Danish rules of legal deposit.
We do not screen articles for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the authors to make sure they do not plagiate.