This paper provides a meta-analysis of micro-econometric evaluation studies on the effectiveness of active labor market policies. The analysis is built upon a systematically assembled dataset of 55 experimental and quasi-experimental studies published between 1990 and 2015. For 277 different subgroups we extract a total of 630 causal impact estimates on the labor market outcomes of the participants. We distinguish between the short and longer term impacts in our analysis: up to a year and later than a year after program start. After correcting for publication bias and country-specific macroeconomic characteristics, subsidized private sector labor programs are the most effective in both the short and longer term, followed by training and retraining programs. Public employment schemes have negative effects. Schemes with enhanced services including job-search assistance do not seem to have an effect. We do not find a significant relation between macroeconomic variables and effectiveness.
Keywords: active labor market policy evaluation; meta-analysis; effect size; publication bias; meta-regression