Richard Layard

Richard Layard is Director of the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics. His areas of expertise include unemployment, inflation and wage behaviour in Britain and other industrialised countries; unemployment policy, including policies on benefits and active labour market policy; wages and incomes policy; education and training; economic problems of Russia and Eastern Europe, including privatisation, restructuring and stabilisation. His publications include The Unemployment Crisis, with S Nickell and R Jackman (OUP, 1994); The Coming Russian Boom, with John Parker (The Free Press, 1996).

Papers Published in World Economics:

Welfare-to-work and the New Deal

Welfare-to-work is on trial in many countries. In Britain it has become the
government’s most important policy for lowering unemployment and expanding
labour supply. But can it work? And what lessons does Britain’s experience
provide for other countries? This paper argues that whilst the Welfare-to-Work
approach has the power to transform the lives of millions—by making them self-sustaining
rather than dependent—it requires extreme sensitivity. The help must
be of very high quality and the spirit of the policy must be visibly in the clients’
interest. The author concludes that the New Deal has been an extraordinary
success from that angle, with very high levels of client satisfaction. It is a good
example for other countries to follow. But each future step must be as sensitive as
the last.

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