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Assisting the transition from workfare to work : a randomized experiment

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  • Galasso, Emanuela
  • Ravallion, Martin
  • Salvia, Agustin

Abstract

Randomly sampled workfare participants in a welfare-dependent region of Argentina were given a voucher that entitled an employer to a sizable wage subsidy. A second sample also received the option of skill training, while a third sample formed the control group. The authors analyze the effects of this scheme on participants'employment and income, using double-difference and instrumental-variables methods to dealwith potential experimental biases, including selective compliance with the randomized assignment. The authors find that compared with the control group, voucher recipients had a significantly higher probability of employment, though their current incomes were no higher. The impact was largely confined to women and younger workers. Labor supply effects appear to have been important. However, training had no significant impact. The experiment was cost-effective in reducing the government's welfare spending, since take-up of the subsidy by employers was low.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2738.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2738

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Related research

Keywords: Poverty Impact Evaluation; Labor Policies; Labor Standards; Environmental Economics&Policies; Public Health Promotion; Environmental Economics&Policies; Labor Standards; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Tertiary Education;

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References

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  1. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  3. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Rivers, Douglas, 1993. "Experimental estimates of the impact of wage subsidies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 219-242, March.
  4. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1989. "Workfare Vs. Welfare: Incentive Arguments For Work Requirements In Poverty Alleviation Programs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 314, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. John Fitzgerald & Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1998. "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of income Dynamics," Economics Working Paper Archive 379, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  7. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  8. Brian Bell & Richard Blundell & John Reenen, 1999. "Getting the Unemployed Back to Work: The Role of Targeted Wage Subsidies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 339-360, August.
  9. Petra E. Todd & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2001. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Performance of Propensity-Score Matching Methods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 112-118, May.
  10. Dave M. O'Neill, 1982. "Employment Tax Credit Programs: The Effects of Socioeconomic Targeting Provisions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 449-459.
  11. Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Wage Subsidies for the Disadvantaged," NBER Working Papers 5679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gary Burtless, 1985. "Are targeted wage subsidies harmful? Evidence from a wage voucher experiment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(1), pages 105-114, October.
  13. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Poverty and policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1130, The World Bank.
  14. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Income gains to the poor from workfare - estimates for Argentina's TRABAJAR Program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2149, The World Bank.
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