Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Working hard or hardly working? : evaluating New Labour's active labour market policy
Author: Hill, Peter
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
When New Labour were elected in 1997, the party’s leader, Tony Blair, claimed the dawn of radical labour market reforms that would substantially reduce long-term unemployment and welfare dependency. This thesis is an evaluation of New Labour’s active labour market policy (ALMP), and focuses on the three central components of that policy agenda: the New Deal programmes, Tax Credit programmes and the National Minimum Wage. These reforms were targeted at key client groups such as the young (defined as those aged 18 to 25 year olds), the long-term unemployed, those aged over 50, the disabled and lone-parents. This thesis adopts Economics of Conventions (EC) as its focal theory, and uses a range of quantitative methods to analyse official labour market data while drawing into question the trajectories of improvement found in the official statistics. It also provides a systematic review of existing evaluative research including that conducted by the Department for Work and Pensions, Low Pay Commission and HM Treasury. This thesis found that rates of unemployment declined while New Labour were in power, arguably as a result of strong economic growth but potentially as a result of their ALMP. Rates of economic activity and inactivity did not significantly change, even after the introduction of additional obligations on lone parents. However, due to the introduction of programmes like the New Deal for Young People, individuals were re-categorised, drastically altering labour market statistics and trends. Indeed, when it comes to the justification and evaluation of their ALMP, New Labour made clear moral judgements about ‘the deserving poor’ and ‘the undeserving poor’ based on links between rights and responsibilities of benefit claimants. Indeed, the economic policies of New Labour continued and promoted neo-liberal precepts of labour market management, i.e. they focused on individual behaviour and personal responsibility, at the expense of potentially more effective policy alternatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JN101 Great Britain