Does privatisation of vocational rehabilitation improve labour market opportunities? Evidence from a field experiment in Sweden

J Health Econ. 2014 Mar:34:59-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.12.002. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


This paper analyses if privatisation of vocational rehabilitation can improve labour market opportunities for individuals on long-term sickness absence. We use a field experiment performed by the Public Employment Service and the Social Insurance Agency in Sweden during 2008-2010, in which over 4000 participants were randomly offered private and public rehabilitation. We find no differences in employment rates following rehabilitation between individuals who received rehabilitation by private and public providers. Also the average cost of rehabilitation was essentially equal for the two types of providers. This suggests that there are no large efficiency gains from privatising vocational rehabilitation.

Keywords: Field experiment; Privatisation; Vocational rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Private Sector
  • Privatization*
  • Public Sector
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational* / methods
  • Sweden / epidemiology