Within the liberal economic model that spread across Latin America
during the 1990s, free and open markets were considered the main
mechanism for resource allocation. In this context, Latin American
governments focused not on providing employment opportunities, but on
supporting the workings of the labour market. One area where labour
market failure had been identified was in relation to information. In
order for the labour market to efficiently allocate workers to jobs,
properly informed participants (both firms and workers) were needed. In
response, many Latin American countries implemented Labour Market
Information (LMI) programmes. This Brief begins by examining the logic
underlying LMI programmes, before going on to describe specific
characteristics of these programmes in Latin America and their main
stages of development. The Brief then provides an overview of monitoring
and evaluation indicators and impact assessments before concluding with
a discussion of enabling factors and key lessons for other regions.
Developing LMI programmes can improve the functioning of the labour
market. Although empirical evidence is quite limited, available data
suggests that LMI programmes have positive effects on both the
probability of finding a job and the quality of jobs available. These
programmes have proven to be cost-efficient and much less costly than
Challenges faced by Latin American countries when adapting LMI
programmes from developed country experiences have been related to high
levels of informal employment, low educational attainment and a lack of
basic labour skills.
Partnerships with the private sector improve the efficiency of labour
exchange systems and other employment related services. In this sense,
the increasing role of private employment agencies in LMI programmes has
been an important success factor.
Anon. ELLA Policy Brief: Labour Market Information Programmes. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2013) 8 pp.