Why Should We Integrate Income and Employment Support? A Conceptual and Empirical Investigation

51 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2022

See all articles by Antonia Asenjo

Antonia Asenjo

Universidad Alberto Hurtado

Verónica Escudero

Research Department (ILO); Paris School of Economics

Hannah Liepmann

International Labour Organization (ILO)


The integration of active labour market policies within income support schemes – such as unemployment insurance and social assistance – has been a key component of social protection in high-income countries since the 1990s, with a rich literature reviewing its effects and implementation characteristics. More recently, this approach has spread beyond high-income economies, and is prominent today in many middle-income economies. Yet, despite the increasing adoption of integrated approaches, their conceptual and practical applications have not been studied in detail outside of high-income countries. This paper conceptualizes, for the first time, the implementation of integrated approaches, focusing on low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). We first develop a conceptual framework to understand how integrated policies can address labour market challenges, exploring the theoretical effects they exert on selected labour market and social dimensions. We then contrast these theoretical expectations with findings from the empirical literature on the effectiveness of integrated approaches. While many empirical studies find positive effects across different labour market dimensions, this is evidently not always the case. To reconcile this discrepancy, we investigate the design and implementation of integrated approaches across LMIC and identify factors which contribute to their effectiveness.

Keywords: active labour market policies, unemployment insurance, cash transfers, policy integration, low- and middle-income countries

JEL Classification: I38, J08, J46, J81

Suggested Citation

Asenjo, Antonia and Escudero, Verónica and Liepmann, Hannah, Why Should We Integrate Income and Employment Support? A Conceptual and Empirical Investigation. IZA Discussion Paper No. 15401, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4151281 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4151281

Antonia Asenjo (Contact Author)

Universidad Alberto Hurtado

Casilla 14446
Correo 21

Verónica Escudero

Research Department (ILO) ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211

HOME PAGE: http://www.ilo.org/almp-americas

Paris School of Economics ( email )


HOME PAGE: http://www.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/en/escudero-vasconez-veronica/

Hannah Liepmann

International Labour Organization (ILO) ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211

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