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Private and Public Provision of Counseling to Job Seekers: Evidence from a Large Controlled Experiment

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  • Luc Behaghel
  • Bruno Cr?pon
  • Marc Gurgand

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a large-scaled randomized controlled experiment comparing the public and private provision of counseling to job seekers. The intention-to-treat estimates of both programs are not statistically different, but more workers were enrolled in the private program, implying an effect per beneficiary that is twice as large under the public as under the private program. We find suggestive evidence that the private firms may have insufficiently mastered the counseling technology, and exercised less effort on those who had the best chance to find a job. This highlights the incentive problems in designing contracts for these services.

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Behaghel & Bruno Cr?pon & Marc Gurgand, 2014. "Private and Public Provision of Counseling to Job Seekers: Evidence from a Large Controlled Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 142-174, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:6:y:2014:i:4:p:142-74
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.6.4.142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33077889 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. James J. Heckman & Carolyn Heinrich & Jeffrey Smith, 2002. "The Performance of Performance Standards," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 778-811.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2005. "Do unemployment insurance recipients actively seek work? Evidence from randomized trials in four U.S. States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 53-75.
    4. Bennmarker, Helge & Grönqvist, Erik & Öckert, Björn, 2009. "Effects of outsourcing employment services: evidence from a randomized experiment," Working Paper Series 2009:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. Jens Lundsgaard, 2002. "Competition and Efficiency in Publicly Funded Services," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 331, OECD Publishing.
    6. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, June.
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pierre Koning & C.J. Heinrich, 2009. "Cream-skimming, parking and other intended and unintended effects of performance-based contracting in social welfare services," CPB Discussion Paper 134, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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