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Employment Subsidies, Informal Economy and Women’s Transition into Work in a Depressed Area: Evidence from a Matching Approach

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  • M. Deidda

    ()

  • A. Di Liberto

    ()

  • M. Foddi

    ()

  • G. Sulis

    ()

Abstract

We analyse the effects of an active labour market program for disadvantaged workers recently implemented in an Italian depressed area. Our sample includes 859 workers, mostly women, who entered the program before April 2008 and were subsequently interviewed in 2009-10. We complement the existing administrative data with survey data that enables us to control for numerous individual and labour market characteristics for both treated and non-treated individuals. Using propensity-score matching methods, we do find that the employment subsidy had a positive and significant effect (ATT) on both the probability of finding a job for participants and on their level of income. We also control for effect heterogeneity and find that the outcome of the policy was higher for women and, among them, we also find that the program was more effective on less educated and older female workers. Finally, we exploit unique information on previous contacts between workers and firms and on the use of informal channels for job search activity to explore the role of underground employment relations for the effectiveness of the policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 201216.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201216

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Keywords: active labour market programs; female labour-force participation; employment subsidies; propensity score matching; informal networks;

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References

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  1. Marco Caliendo & Steffen Künn, 2010. "Start-up Subsidies for the Unemployed: Long-Term Evidence and Effect Heterogeneity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 985, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. G. Sulis, 2007. "Gender Wage Differentials in Italy: a Structural Estimation Approach," Working Paper CRENoS 200715, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  3. Paolo, NATICHIONI & Silvia LORIGA, 2008. "Short and long term evaluations of Public Employment Services in Italy," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008030, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  4. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2009. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations – A Meta-analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 0086, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  6. Bergemann, Annette & van den Berg, Gerard, 2007. "Active labor market policy effects for women in Europe - a survey," Working Paper Series 2007:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2009. "The Use of Informal Networks in Italy: Efficiency or Favoritism?," MPRA Paper 17281, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael & Steiger, Heidi, 2002. "Does subsidised temporary employment get the unemployed back to work? An econometric analysis of two different schemes," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 A2-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
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  10. Kluve, Jochen & Lehmann, Hartmut & Schmidt, Christoph M., 1999. "Active Labor Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization or Benefit Churning," IZA Discussion Papers 30, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 507-541, December.
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  18. Adriano Paggiaro & Enrico Rettore & Ugo Trivellato, 2009. "The Effect of a Longer Eligibility to a Labour Market Programme for Dismissed Workers," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(1), pages 37-66, 03.
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  20. Schneider, Friedrich, 2011. "The Shadow Economy and Shadow Economy Labor Force: What Do We (Not) Know?," IZA Discussion Papers 5769, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  22. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  23. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  24. N�ria Rodríguez-Planas, 2010. "Channels through which Public Employment Services and Small Business Assistance Programmes Work," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(4), pages 458-485, 08.
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