IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Sensitivity of matching-based program evaluations to the availability of control variables

  • Lechner, Michael
  • Wunsch, Conny

Based on new, exceptionally informative and large German linked employer–employee administrative data, we investigate the question whether the omission of important control variables in matching estimation leads to biased impact estimates of typical active labor market programs for the unemployed. Such biases would lead to false policy conclusions about the cost-effectiveness of these expensive policies. Using newly developed Empirical Monte Carlo Study methods, we find that besides standard personal characteristics, information about the current unemployment spell, regional information, pre-treatment outcomes, and detailed short-term labor market histories remove most of the selection bias.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537113000134
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 111-121

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:21:y:2013:i:c:p:111-121
DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.01.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Guido M. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Heinrich, Carolyn J. & Mueser, Peter R. & Troske, Kenneth & Jeon, Kyung-Seong & Kahvecioglu, Daver C., 2009. "New Estimates of Public Employment and Training Program Net Impacts: A Nonexperimental Evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act Program," IZA Discussion Papers 4569, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Völter, Robert, 2006. "Get training or wait? : long-run employment effects of training programs for the unemployed in West Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 200617, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  5. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2002. "Program Evaluation and Random Program Starts," Working Paper Series 2003:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ahmed Khwaja & Gabriel Picone & Martin Salm & Justin G. Trogdon, 2011. "A comparison of treatment effects estimators using a structural model of AMI treatment choices and severity of illness information from hospital charts," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(5), pages 825-853, 08.
  7. Petrongolo, Barbara, 2008. "The long-term effects of job search requirements: Evidence from the UK JSA reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 7067, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jespersen, Svend T. & Munch, Jakob R. & Skipper, Lars, 2008. "Costs and benefits of Danish active labour market programmes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 859-884, October.
  9. Wunsch, Conny & Lechner, Michael, 2007. "What Did All the Money Do? On the General Ineffectiveness of Recent West German Labour Market Programmes," IZA Discussion Papers 2800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Speckesser, Stefan, 2005. "Employment Effects of the Provision of Specific Professional Skills and Techniques in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  12. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," NBER Technical Working Papers 0325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Thomas Fraker & Rebecca Maynard, 1987. "The Adequacy of Comparison Group Designs for Evaluations of Employment-Related Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 194-227.
  14. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2007. "The Curse and Blessing of Training the Unemployed in a Changing Economy: The Case of East Germany After Unification," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 468-509, November.
  15. James Heckman & Salvador Navarro-Lozano, 2004. "Using Matching, Instrumental Variables, and Control Functions to Estimate Economic Choice Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 30-57, February.
  16. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2010. "How to control for many covariates? Reliable estimators based on the propensity score," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-30, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  17. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Völter, Robert, 2007. "Long-Run Effects of Training Programs for the Unemployed in East Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  19. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey A, 1999. "The Pre-programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme. Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 313-48, July.
  20. Michael Lechner & Stephan Wiehler, 2007. "Kids or Courses? Gender Differences in the Effects of Active Labor Market Policies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  21. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  22. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:91-92:p:15 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Sianesi, Barbara, 2008. "Differential effects of active labour market programs for the unemployed," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 370-399, June.
  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. Card, David & Kluve, Jochen & Weber, Andrea, 2009. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 4002, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Stephan Thomsen, 2009. "Job Search Assistance Programs in Europe: Evaluation Methods and Recent Empirical Findings," FEMM Working Papers 09018, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  27. van Ours, Jan C., 2004. "The locking-in effect of subsidized jobs," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 37-55, March.
  28. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Joffe, Marshall M. & Ten Have, Thomas R. & Feldman, Harold I. & Kimmel, Stephen E., 2004. "Model Selection, Confounder Control, and Marginal Structural Models: Review and New Applications," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 58, pages 272-279, November.
  30. 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.
  31. Lechner, Michael & Miquel, Ruth & Wunsch, Conny, 2005. "Long-run effects of public sector sponsored training in West Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 200503, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  32. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:91-92 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. James J. Heckman, 1989. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods for Estimating the Impact of Social Programs: The Case of Manpower Training," NBER Working Papers 2861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2008. "Dynamic Treatment Assignment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 435-445.
  35. Shadish, William R. & Clark, M. H. & Steiner, Peter M., 2008. "Can Nonrandomized Experiments Yield Accurate Answers? A Randomized Experiment Comparing Random and Nonrandom Assignments," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1334-1344.
  36. Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Swedish System of Active Labor Market Programs in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 133-155, February.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  40. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Alexey Gorislavsky, 2007. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 761-783, November.
  41. Laura Larsson, 2003. "Evaluation of Swedish Youth Labor Market Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
  42. Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2006. "Exploiting regional treatment intensity for the evaluation of labour market policies," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/06, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  43. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
  44. Dolton, Peter & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2011. "The Impact of the UK New Deal for Lone Parents on Benefit Receipt," IZA Discussion Papers 5491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  45. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
  46. Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2009. "Active labour market policy in East Germany," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(4), pages 661-702, October.
  47. Friedlander, Daniel & Robins, Philip K, 1995. "Evaluating Program Evaluations: New Evidence on Commonly Used Nonexperimental Methods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 923-37, September.
  48. Dorsett, Richard, 2006. "The new deal for young people: effect on the labour market status of young men," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 405-422, June.
  49. James G. MacKinnon, 2006. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics," Working Papers 1028, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  50. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:21:y:2013:i:c:p:111-121. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.