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Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-analysis

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  • David Card
  • Jochen Kluve
  • Andrea Weber

Abstract

This paper presents a meta-analysis of recent microeconometric evaluations of active labor market policies. Our sample consists of 199 program estimates drawn from 97 studies conducted between 1995 and 2007. In about one-half of these cases we have both a short-term impact estimate (for a one-year post-program horizon) and a medium-term estimate (two-year horizon). We characterize the program estimates according to the type and duration of the program, the characteristics of the participants, and the evaluation methodology. Heterogeneity in all three dimensions affects the likelihood that an impact estimate is significantly positive, significantly negative, or statistically insignificant. Comparing program types, subsidized public sector employment programs have the least favorable impact estimates. Job search assistance programs have relatively favorable short-run impacts, whereas classroom and on-the-job training programs tend to show better outcomes in the medium-run than the short-run. Programs for youths are less likely to yield positive impacts than untargeted programs, but there are no large or systematic differences by gender. Methodologically, we find that the outcome variable used to measure program effectiveness matters. Evaluations based on registered unemployment durations are more likely to show favorable short-term impacts. Controlling for the outcome measure, and the type of program and participants, we find that experimental and non-experimental studies have similar fractions of significant negative and significant positive impact estimates, suggesting that the research designs used in recent non-experimental evaluations are unbiased.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2570.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2570

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Keywords: active labor market policy; program evaluation; meta-analysis;

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References

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  1. Bergemann, Annette & van den Berg, Gerard, 2007. "Active labor market policy effects for women in Europe - a survey," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2007:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2006. "Active labour market policy in East Germany : waiting for the economy to take off," IAB Discussion Paper, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany] 200620, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  3. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1987. "The case for evaluating training programs with randomized trials," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 333-338, August.
  4. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  5. Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Swedish System of Active Labor Market Programs in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 133-155, February.
  6. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richardson, Katarina & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2002. "The effect of vocational employment training on the individual transition rate from unemployment to work," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2002:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  8. David H. Greenberg & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2003. "A meta-analysis of government-sponsored training programs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 31-53, October.
  9. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2006. "Evaluating the Differential Effects of Alternative Welfare-to-Work Training Components: A Reanalysis of the California GAIN Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 521-566, July.
  10. Guido Imbens & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent developments in the econometrics of program evaluation," CeMMAP working papers, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies CWP24/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Waller, Marie, 2007. "Which Program for Whom? Evidence on the Comparative Effectiveness of Public Sponsored Training Programs in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 07-042, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2002. "Can training and employment subsidies combat European unemployment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 409-448, October.
  13. Jespersen, Svend T. & Munch, Jakob R. & Skipper, Lars, 2008. "Costs and benefits of Danish active labour market programmes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 859-884, October.
  14. Kluve, Jochen, 2010. "The effectiveness of European active labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 904-918, December.
  15. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  16. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 554, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  17. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  18. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
  19. Michael Gerfin & Michael Lechner, 2002. "A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 854-893, October.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Políticas activas de empleo: qué funciona y qué se consigue
    by Samuel Bentolila in Nada Es Gratis on 2013-11-12 06:55:33
  2. La cultura del deshecho, la austeridad y la Garantía Juvenil
    by Florentino Felgueroso in Nada Es Gratis on 2014-06-12 06:00:44
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  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

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