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What Did All the Money Do? On the General Ineffectiveness of Recent West German Labour Market Programmes

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  • Conny Wunsch
  • Michael Lechner

Abstract

We provide new evidence on the effectiveness of West German labour market programmes by evaluating training and employment programmes that have been conducted 2000-2002 after the first large reform of German labour market policy in 1998. We employ exceptionally rich administrative data that allow us to use microeconometric matching methods and to estimate interesting effects for different types of programmes and participants at a rather disaggregated level. We find that, on average, all programmes fail to improve their participants' chances of finding regular, unsubsidised employment. Rather, participants accumulate 2-13 more months of unemployment than nonparticipants over the 2.5 years following programme start, which, in addition to direct programme costs, induces net costs in terms of benefit payments and wage subsidies amounting to, on average, 1500-7000 EUR per participant. However, we show that there is some scope for improvements in mean employment rates as well as potential for considerable cost savings by a reallocation of participants and nonparticipants to the different programmes. Copyright 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 61 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 134-174

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:61:y:2008:i:1:p:134-174

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962

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  1. Michael Gerfin & Michael Lechner, 2002. "A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 854-893, October.
  2. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan Lothar, 2005. "The Employment Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany: A Microeconometric Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 1512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2001. "The Long-Term Gains from GAIN: A Re-Analysis of the Impacts of the California GAIN Program," Working Papers 01-03, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  4. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Speckesser, Stefan, 2005. "Employment Effects of the Provision of Specific Professional Skills and Techniques in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-77, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
  6. Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner & Heidi Steiger, 2003. "Statistically Assisted Programme Selection - International Experiences and Potential Benefits for Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(III), pages 311-331, September.
  7. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "Evaluating an Innovative Redundancy-Retraining Project: The Austrian Steel Foundation," IZA Discussion Papers 277, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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