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Targeting Labour Market Programmes: Results from a Randomized Experiment

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Author Info

  • Behncke, Stefanie

    ()
    (Swiss National Bank)

  • Frölich, Markus

    ()
    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lechner, Michael

    ()
    (University of St. Gallen)

Abstract

We evaluate a randomized experiment of a statistical support system developed to assist caseworkers in Swiss employment offices in choosing appropriate active labour market programmes for their unemployed clients. This statistical support system predicted the labour market outcome for each programme and thereby suggested an 'optimal' labour market programme for each unemployed person. The support system was piloted in several employment offices. In those pilot offices, half of the caseworkers used the system and the other half acted as control group. The allocation of the caseworkers to treatment and control group was random. The experiment was designed such that caseworkers retained full discretion about the choice of active labour market programmes, and the evaluation results showed that caseworkers largely ignored the statistical support system. This indicates that stronger incentives are needed for caseworkers to comply with statistical profiling and targeting systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3085.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Volkswirtschaft und Statistik / Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 2009, 145 (3), 221-268
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3085

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Related research

Keywords: ALMP; statistical treatment rules; profiling; unemployment; public employment services; active labour market programmes;

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References

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  1. Michael Lechner & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "What is the Value Added by Caseworkers?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20031, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  2. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2002. "Program Evaluation and Random Program Starts," Working Paper Series 2003:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Christopher J. O'Leary & Paul Decker & Stephen A. Wandner, 2002. "Targeting Reemployment Bonuses," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 3005, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. Randall W. Eberts & Christopher J. O'Leary, 2002. "A Frontline Decision Support System for Georgia Career Centers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 02-84, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Alex Bryson & Diana Kasparova, 2003. "Profiling benefit claimants in Britain: a feasibility study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4991, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Rajeev H. Dehejia, 2002. "Program evaluation as a decision problem," Discussion Papers 0102-23, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  7. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, . "The Effect of Benefit Sanctions on the Duration of Unemployment," IEW - Working Papers 110, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Christopher J. O’Leary & Paul T. Decke & Stephen A. Wandner, 2005. "Cost-Effectiveness of Targeted Reemployment Bonuses," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  9. Charles Manski, 2003. "Statistical treatment rules for heterogeneous populations," CeMMAP working papers CWP03/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Robert Moffitt, 2005. "Welfare Work Requirements with Paternalistic Government Preferences," Economics Working Paper Archive 534, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2006.
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  13. Mark C. Berger & Dan Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "Evaluating Profiling as a Means of Allocating Government Services," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 200018, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  14. Michael Rosholm & Jonas Staghøj & Michael Svarer, 2007. "A Statistical Programme Assignment Model," Economics Working Papers 2007-16, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  15. Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2006. "Generalising the Hit Rates Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement, With an Application to Vehicle Searches in Wichita," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages F351-F367, November.
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  17. 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.
  18. Charles F. Manski, 2005. "Search Profiling with Partial Knowledge of Deterrence," NBER Working Papers 11848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Frölich, Markus, 2006. "Statistical Treatment Choice: An Application to Active Labour Market Programmes," IZA Discussion Papers 2187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Philip J. O’Connell & Seamus Mcguinness & Elish Kelly, 2012. "The Transition from Short- to Long-Term Unemployment: A Statistical Profiling Model for Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(1), pages 135–164.
  2. Michael Rosholm & Jonas Staghøj & Michael Svarer, 2007. "A Statistical Programme Assignment Model," Economics Working Papers 2007-16, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  3. Oscar Mitnik, 2008. "How do Training Programs Assign Participants to Training? Characterizing the Assignment Rules of Government Agencies for Welfare-to-Work Programs in California," Working Papers 0907, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  4. Weber, Andrea, 2008. "Individual Incentives in Program Participation: Splitting up the Process in Assignment and Enrollment," IZA Discussion Papers 3404, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Luis Ayala & Magdalena Rodríguez, 2010. "Evaluating welfare reform under program heterogeneity and alternative measures of success," Working Papers 186, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  6. Djebbari, Habiba & Smith, Jeffrey, 2008. "Heterogeneous impacts in PROGRESA," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 64-80, July.
  7. Pierre Koning, 2009. "The effectiveness of Public Employment Service workers in the Netherlands," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 393-409, October.

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