PhD ceremony: Mr. A.J.E. Edzes, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Arbeidsmarktstrategieën van gemeenten
Promotor(s): prof. J. van Dijk
Faculty: Spatial Sciences
In this dissertation two research themes are investigated in the context of the introduction of the Work and assistance Act in 2004 in The Netherlands. In the first place, the theoretical and empirical possibilities that municipalities have to prevent inflow into Social Assistance and to stimulate the outflow. Hence, municipalities have to influence the functioning of the local labour market. Municipalities seems to differ in the way they apply policy instruments. These differences are related to the region, size class and the political composition of the City Council. An econometric analysis suggests that the influence of municipalities to influence the local labour market is low and that the extra added value of policy instruments, although significant, is small.
In the second place, it was examined how municipalities respond to increasing financial responsibilities and policy discretion as a result of processes of decentralization for which the Work and Social Assistance Act is an example. Theoretically, there are four possible outcomes on the basis of two dimensions: there is increasing efficiency or not and the differences between municipalities become smaller (convergence) or larger (divergence)? An empirical exploration shows that the efficiency of municipalities as a result of the increased responsibilities has been approved, although in the initial situation the efficiency is already high. At the same time, there has been convergence and differences between the municipalities have became smaller.
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