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Optimal Use of Labor Market Policies: The Role of Job Search Assistance

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  • Conny Wunsch

Abstract

This paper studies the role of job search assistance programs in optimal welfare-to-work programs. The analysis is based on a framework, that allows for endogenous choice of benefit types and levels, wage taxes or subsidies, and activation measures such as monitoring and job search assistance for each period of unemployment in a dynamic environment with negative duration dependence in the exit rates to employment and potential depreciation in reemployment wages. We show that the main role of job search assistance is to delay or prevent situations in which it is no longer optimal to incentivize the worker to provide positive search effort. It is used to restore or maintain some minimum exit rate to employment which increases with the cost-effectiveness of job search assistance. We also find that in line with existing policies, these programs should mainly be used at the beginning of unemployment and for short durations. However, contrary to existing schemes, they should be exclusively targeted at unemployed workers with low initial exit rates to employment. For all other workers, they should only be used if they fail to find a job within reasonable time despite high expected initial exit rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2890.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2890

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Keywords: job search; optimal unemployment insurance; welfare-to-work policies; recursive contracts;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2013. "The effect of firms' partial retirement policies on the labour market outcomes of their employees," Working papers 2013/12, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  2. Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2010. "Training and Search during Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bart COCKX & Muriel DEJEMEPPE & Andrey LAUNOV & Bruno VAN DER LINDEN, 2011. "Monitoring, Sanctions and Front-Loading of Job Search in a Non-Stationary Model," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011042, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Brown, Alessio J. G. & Koettl, Johannes, 2012. "Active Labor Market Programs: Employment Gain or Fiscal Drain?," IZA Discussion Papers 6880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Boockmann, Bernhard & Osiander, Christopher & Stops, Michael & Verbeek, Hans, 2013. "Effekte von Vermittlerhandeln und Vermittlerstrategien im SGB II und SGB III (Pilotstudie) : Abschlussbericht an das IAB durch das Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung e. V. (IAW), Tübingen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201307, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  6. van den Berg, Gerard J. & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2013. "Structural Empirical Evaluation of Job Search Monitoring," IZA Discussion Papers 7740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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