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Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective than the Services Themselves? Experimental Evidence from the UI System

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  • Dan A. Black
  • Jeffrey A. Smith
  • Mark C. Berger
  • Brett J. Noel

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) system. This program 'profiles' UI claimants to determine their probability of benefit exhaustion (or expected spell duration) and then provides mandatory employment and training services to claimants with high predicted probabilities (or long expected spells). Using a unique experimental design, we estimate that the WPRS program reduces mean weeks of UI benefit receipt by about 2.2 weeks, reduces mean UI benefits received by about $143, and increases subsequent earnings by over $1,050. Much (but not all) of the effect results from a sharp increase in early exits from UI in the experimental treatment group compared to the experimental control group. These exits coincide with claimants finding out about their mandatory program obligations rather than with actual receipt of employment and training services. While the program targets those with the highest expected durations of UI benefit receipt, we find no evidence that these claimants benefit disproportionately from the program. In addition, we find strong evidence against the 'common effect' assumption, as the estimated treatment effect differs dramatically across quantiles of the untreated outcome distribution. Overall, the profiling program appears to successfully reduce the moral hazard associated with the UI program without increasing the take-up rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8825.

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Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Publication status: published as Black, Dan A., Jeffrey A. Smith, Mark C. Berger and Brett J. Noel. "Is The Threat Of Reemployment Services More Effective Than The Services Themselves? Evidence From Random Assignment In The UI System," American Economic Review, 2003, v93(4,Sep), 1313-1327.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8825

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Randall W. Eberts & Christopher J. O'Leary, 2003. "A New WPRS Profiling Model for Michigan," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 04-102, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "A Critical Survey of Empirical Methods for Evaluating Active Labor Market Policies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20006, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. McVicar, D. & Podivinsky, J.M., 2007. "Does the impact of active labor market programs depend on the state of the labor market? The case of the UK new deal for young people," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0704, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  4. Micklewright, John & Nagy, Gyula, 2005. "Job Search Monitoring and Unemployment Duration in Hungary: Evidence from a Randomised Control Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 1839, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Robert J. LaLonde, 2003. "Employment and Training Programs," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 517-586 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Røed, Knut & Jensen, Peter & Thoursie, Anna, 2002. "Unemployment Duration, Incentives and Institutions - A Micro-Econometric Analysis Based on Scandinavian Data," Working Paper Series 3/2002, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  7. Dammert, Ana C., 2008. "Heterogeneous Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers: Evidence from Nicaragua," IZA Discussion Papers 3653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Fan, Yanqin & Park, Sang Soo, 2009. "Partial identification of the distribution of treatment effects and its confidence sets," MPRA Paper 37148, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Carling, Kenneth & Larsson, Laura, 2002. "Does early intervention help the unemployed youth?," Working Paper Series 2002:10, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  10. McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J. & Kelly, Elish & Walsh, John R., 2011. "Activation in Ireland: An Evaluation of the National Employment Action Plan," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS20.
  11. Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J., 2011. "What Can Active Labour Market Policies Do?," Papers EC1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  12. 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.
  13. Randall W. Eberts, 2005. "After the doors close: assisting laid-off workers to find jobs," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 75-85.
  14. Micklewright, John & Nagy, Gyula, 2008. "Job Search Monitoring and Unemployment Duration: Evidence from a Randomised Control Trial," CEPR Discussion Papers 6711, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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