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Does the Order and Timing of Active Labour Market Programmes Matter?

  • Michael Lechner
  • Stephan Wiehler

This paper extends the traditional focus of active labour market policy evaluation from a static comparison of participation in a programme versus nonparticipation (or participation in another programme) to the evaluation of the effects of programme sequences, i.e. multiple participation or timing of such programmes. We use a dynamic evaluation framework that explicitly allows for dynamic selection into different stages of such sequences based on past intermediate outcomes to analyze multiple programmes, the timing of programmes, and the order of programmes. The analysis is based on exceptionally comprehensive data on the Austrian labour force. Our findings suggest that (i) active job search programmes are more effective after a qualification programme compared to the reverse order, that (ii) multiple participations in qualification measures dominates single participation, and that (iii) the effectiveness of specific labour market programmes deteriorates the later they start during an unemployment spell.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 180-212

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:75:y:2013:i:2:p:180-212
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  1. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2006. "Active labour market policy in East Germany : waiting for the economy to take off," IAB Discussion Paper 200620, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Bergemann, Annette & van den Berg, Gerard, 2007. "Active labor market policy effects for women in Europe - a survey," Working Paper Series 2007:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2007. "Are training programs more effective when unemployment is high?," IAB Discussion Paper 200707, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  4. Lechner, Michael & Miquel, Ruth & Wunsch, Conny, 2005. "Long run Effects of Public Sector Sponsored Training in West Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4851, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jan C. van Ours, 2002. "The Locking-in Effect of Subsidized Jobs," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 474, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. Bernd Fitzenberger & Stefan Speckesser, 2007. "Employment effects of the provision of specific professional skills and techniques in Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 529-573, May.
  7. Lechner, Michael & Wiehler, Stephan, 2007. "Kids or Courses? Gender Differences in the Effects of Active Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 2740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Hujer, Reinhard & Caliendo, Marco & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2003. "New Evidence on the Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany - A Matching Approach with Threefold Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Michael Gerfin & Michael Lechner & Heidi Steiger, 2003. "Does subsidised temporary employment get the unemployed back to work? An econometric analysis of two different schemes," Diskussionsschriften dp0303, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  10. Jochen Kluve & Hartmut Lehmann & Christopher Schmidt, 1998. "Active Labor Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization or Benefit Churning?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 215, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  11. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects of Multiple Treatments Under the Conditional Independence Assumption," IZA Discussion Papers 91, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Michael Lechner, 2006. "Matching Estimating of Dynamic Treatment Models: Some Practical Issues," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2006 2006-03, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  13. Bernd FITZENBERGER & Aderonke OSIKOMINU & Robert VÖLTER, 2008. "Get Training or Wait? Long-Run Employment Effects of Training Programs for the Unemployed in West Germany," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 91-92, pages 321-355.
  14. Forslund, Anders & Johansson, Per & Lindqvist, Linus, 2004. "Employment subsidies - A fast lane from unemployment to work?," Working Paper Series 2004:18, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  15. Michael Gerfin & Michael Lechner, 2002. "A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 854-893, October.
  16. S. A. Murphy, 2003. "Optimal dynamic treatment regimes," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 65(2), pages 331-355.
  17. Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Arturo Gonzalez & Todd C. Neumann, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Length of Exposure to a Training Program: The Case of Job Corps," Working Papers 1042, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  18. Daniel Friedlander & David H. Greenberg & Philip K. Robins, 1997. "Evaluating Government Training Programs for the Economically Disadvantaged," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1809-1855, December.
  19. Lechner, Michael & Melly, Blaise, 2007. "Earnings Effects of Training Programs," CEPR Discussion Papers 6400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. van Ours, J.C., 2004. "The locking-in effect of subsidized jobs," Other publications TiSEM c4fd99a1-4c2f-46c6-9ee2-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  21. Zweimuller, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1996. "Manpower Training Programmes and Employment Stability," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(249), pages 113-30, February.
  22. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Volter, Robert, 2007. "Long-run effects of training programs for the unemployed in East Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 730-755, August.
  23. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Sequential Causal Models for the Evaluation of Labor Market Programs," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 71-83.
  24. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  25. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimueller, . "The Impact of Active Labor Market Programs on the Duration of Unemployment," IEW - Working Papers 041, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  26. Weber, Andrea & Hofer, Helmut, 2004. "Are Job Search Programs a Promising Tool? A Microeconometric Evaluation for Austria," IZA Discussion Papers 1075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Hernan M. A & Brumback B. & Robins J. M, 2001. "Marginal Structural Models to Estimate the Joint Causal Effect of Nonrandomized Treatments," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 440-448, June.
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