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Disentangling Treatment Effects of Active Labor Market Policies: The Role of Labor Force Status Sequences

  • Kluve, Jochen
  • Lehmann, Hartmut
  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

This paper estimates treatment effects of two active labor market policies - a training program and a wage subsidy scheme - on participants' employment probabilities. The analysis is based on unique data from the 18th wave of the Polish Labor Force Survey containing detailed and extensive individual labor force status histories. We discuss two variants of an exact covariate matching procedure adapted to the specific nature of the data. Our study confirms and reinforces a point raised in recent research [Heckman, J.J., Smith, J.A. The Pre-programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme: Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies. The Economic Journal 1999; 109; 313-348., Heckman, J.J., Smith, J.A. The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program. Journal of Labor Economics 2004; 22; 243-298.], that pre-treatment labor force status dynamics play a decisive role in determining program participation. We implement a conditional difference-in-differences estimator of treatment effects based on these individual trinomial sequences of pre-treatment labor market status. The estimator employs a "moving window" technique that nicely controls for changes in the macroeconomic environment over time. Our findings suggest that training raises individual employment probability, while wage subsidies display negative treatment effects for participants in the Polish case.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1270-1295

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:6:p:1270-1295
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Marek GÕra & Christoph M. Schmidt, 1998. "Long-term unemployment, unemployment benefits and social assistance: The Polish experience," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1/2), pages 55-85.
  2. Jochen Kluve & Hilmar Schneider & Arne Uhlendorff & Zhong Zhao, 2007. "Evaluating Continuous Training Programs Using the Generalized Propensity Score," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 752, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Lechner, Michael & Wiehler, Stephan, 2007. "Does the Order and Timing of Active Labor Market Programs Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 3092, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  5. Lechner, Michael & Miquel, Ruth & Wunsch, Conny, 2004. "Long-Run Effects of Public Sector Sponsored Training in West Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Puhani, Patrick A, 1998. "Advantage Through Training? A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Employment Effects of Active Labour Market Programmes in Poland," CEPR Discussion Papers 2000, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Martina Lubyova & Jan C. van Ours, 1998. "Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 213, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Heckman, James J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2003. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," IZA Discussion Papers 798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2002. "Can training and employment subsidies combat European unemployment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 409-448, October.
  10. Kluve, Jochen & Lehmann, Hartmut & Schmidt, Christoph M., 1999. "Active Labor Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization, or Benefit Churning?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 61-89, March.
  11. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
  12. Card, David & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1988. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements in and out of Employment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 497-530, May.
  13. 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).
  14. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  15. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 1489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  17. 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.
  18. Michael Lechner, 2002. "Program Heterogeneity And Propensity Score Matching: An Application To The Evaluation Of Active Labor Market Policies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 205-220, May.
  19. 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.
  20. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Kluve, Jochen & Schneider, Hilmar & Uhlendorff, Arne & Zhao, Zhong, 2007. "Evaluating continuous training programs using the generalized propensity score1," Technical Reports 2007,39, Technische Universität Dortmund, Sonderforschungsbereich 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in multivariaten Datenstrukturen.
  22. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
  23. Peter Fredriksson & Per Johansson, 2003. "Program Evaluation and Random Program Starts," CESifo Working Paper Series 844, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
  25. Smith, Jeffrey & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Rejoinder," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 365-375.
  26. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
  27. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2018, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," RWI Discussion Papers 37, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
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