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Job Search Periods for Welfare Applicants: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

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  • Jonneke Bolhaar
  • Nadine Ketel
  • Bas van der Klaauw

Abstract

We combine a randomized experiment with administrative data to study the effects of mandatory job search periods in the Dutch welfare system. Job search periods postpone the first welfare benefits payment and encourage applicants to start searching for jobs actively. Job search periods substantially reduce benefits take up. The decline in benefits receipt is permanent, but fully compensated by increased earnings because of higher reemployment rates. We do not find detectable effects on health and crime outcomes, nor do we observe income declines for more vulnerable applicants. Our results suggest that job search periods are an effective instrument for targeting benefits to welfare applicants.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonneke Bolhaar & Nadine Ketel & Bas van der Klaauw, 2019. "Job Search Periods for Welfare Applicants: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 92-125, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:11:y:2019:i:1:p:92-125
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20170163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bolhaar, Jonneke & Ketel, Nadine & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2018. "Caseworker's discretion and the effectiveness of welfare-to-work programs," Working Papers in Economics 737, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Schiprowski, Amelie, 2017. "The Role of Caseworkers in Unemployment Insurance: Evidence from Unplanned Absences," IZA Discussion Papers 11040, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe & Andrey Launov & Bruno Van der Linden, 2018. "Imperfect Monitoring of Job Search: Structural Estimation and Policy Design," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 75-120.
    4. Cammeraat, Emile & Jongen, Egbert L. W. & Koning, Pierre, 2017. "Preventing NEETs during the Great Recession: The Effects of a Mandatory Activation Program for Young Welfare Recipients," IZA Discussion Papers 11090, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Lucy Kok & Caren Tempelman & Pierre Koning & Lennart Kroon & Caroline Berden, 2017. "Do Incentives for Municipalities Reduce the Welfare Caseload? Evaluation of a Welfare Reform in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 23-42, March.
    6. Cottier, Lionel & Flueckiger, Yves & Kempeneers, PIerre & Lalive, Rafael, 2018. "Does Job Search Assistance Really Raise Employment?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Louis N. Christofides & Christos Koutsampelas, 2019. "The social protection system in Cyprus: Recent initiatives and labour market implications," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 13(2), pages 3-47, December.
    8. Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe & Andrey Launov & Bruno Van der Linden, 2017. "Imperfect Monitoring of Job Search: Structural Estimation and Policy Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 6323, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Cammeraat, Emile & Jongen, Egbert L. W. & Koning, Pierre, 2017. "Preventing NEETs during the Great Recession: The Effects of a Mandatory Activation Program for Young Welfare Recipients," IZA Discussion Papers 11090, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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