Just a short addition to the discussion on job subsidies addressed by Karl Whelan on this blog. Ireland had an extensive program of Employment Schemes during the 1980s. The following schemes accounted for 95 per cent of all participants on these kinds of interventions; Work Experience Programme, Employment Incentive Scheme, Enterprise Allowance Scheme, Teamwork and Social Employment Scheme.
Hartmut Lehmann and I outlined the details of these programmes and evaluated them in terms of their ability to get the unemployed back to work in 1990.
Hartmut Lehmann and Patrick Paul Walsh, CEP and London School of Economics, “Employment Schemes in Ireland: An Evaluation” The Economic and Social Review“, Vol.22, No.1, October 1990, pp43-56
Karl is right to be nervous about their reintroduction. It is hard to prevent unintended displacement and substitution effects in these interventions, employees taking on subsidised workers and letting go unsubsidised workers or taking on subsidised workers instead of intended unsubsidised workers.
We have a history in dealing with mass unemployment and we should not ingore lessons from the research done from that time.
Other notable papers at the time where
Breen, R. (1991), ‘Education, Employment, and Training in the Youth Labour Market’, General Research Series Number 152. Dublin: ESRI.
Breen, R. and B. Halpin (1989), ‘Subsidising Jobs: An Evaluation of the Employment Incentive Scheme’, General Research Series Number 144. Dublin: ESRI.