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Effects of the unemployment insurance work test on long-term employment outcomes

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  • Lachowska, Marta
  • Meral, Merve
  • Woodbury, Stephen A.

Abstract

Does requiring job seekers to be available and searching for work affect job quality? We examine the effects of this unemployment insurance (UI) work test on long-term employment outcomes. Adding administrative wage records to the Washington Alternative Work Search (WAWS) experiment, we examine effects on earnings, hours worked, employment, and job match quality in the nine years following the experiment. Among UI recipients as a whole, the effects of the work test were negligible, counter to the hypothesis that the work test may harm long-term earnings. But for permanent job losers, the work test reduced time to reemployment by 1–2 quarters, and increased job tenure with the first post-claim employer by about 2 quarters. Also, we find that the work test selected lower-wage workers into reemployment. Accordingly, the work test may be an important policy for improving the reemployment prospects of lower-wage, permanent job losers.

Suggested Citation

  • Lachowska, Marta & Meral, Merve & Woodbury, Stephen A., 2016. "Effects of the unemployment insurance work test on long-term employment outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 246-265.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:41:y:2016:i:c:p:246-265
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2016.05.015
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    Cited by:

    1. David E. Balducchi & Christopher J. O'Leary, 2017. "The Employment Service-Unemployment Insurance Partnership: Origin, Evolution, and Revitalization," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 17-269, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance; Work test; Random-assignment experiment; Pre-treatment outcome tests; Reemployment policy; Long-term evaluation of public policy; Administrative data;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • 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
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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