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The Effect of Active Labor Market Programs on Not-Yet Treated Unemployed Individuals

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  • Gerard J. van den Berg
  • Annette H. Bergemann
  • Marco Caliendo

Abstract

Labor market programs may affect unemployed individuals' behavior before they enroll. Such ex ante effects are hard to identify without model assumptions. We develop a novel method that relates self-reported perceived treatment rates and job-search behavioral outcomes, like the reservation wage, to each other, among newly unemployed workers. Job search theory is used to derive theoretical predictions. To deal with effect heterogeneity and selectivity, the effects of interest are estimated by propensity score matching. We apply the method to the German active labor market program system, using a novel data set including self-reported assessments of the variables of interest as well as unusually detailed information on behavior, attitudes, and past outcomes. We find that the system generates a negative ex ante effect on the reservation wage and a positive effect on search effort. (JEL: J64, C21, D83, D84) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard J. van den Berg & Annette H. Bergemann & Marco Caliendo, 2009. "The Effect of Active Labor Market Programs on Not-Yet Treated Unemployed Individuals," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 606-616, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:2-3:p:606-616
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. van den Berg, Gerard J & Gorter, Cees, 1997. "Job Search and Commuting Time," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 269-281, April.
    2. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Counseling And Monitoring Of Unemployed Workers: Theory And Evidence From A Controlled Social Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 895-936, August.
    3. van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Exclusion Restrictions for Instrumental Variable Estimation," IZA Discussion Papers 2585, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Gerard J. van den Berg & Antoine Bozio & Mónica Costa Dias, 2020. "Policy discontinuity and duration outcomes," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), pages 871-916, July.
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    7. Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Propensity score matching," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2001 12, Stata Users Group, revised 23 Aug 2001.
    8. Gerard van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2000. "Counseling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Social Experiment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0972, Econometric Society.
    9. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    10. Bernhard, Sarah & Hohmeyer, Katrin & Jozwiak, Eva & Koch, Susanne & Kruppe, Thomas & Stephan, Gesine & Wolff, Joachim, 2008. "Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland und ihre Wirkungen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200802, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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    13. Abbring, Jaap H & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2005. "Social experiments and intrumental variables with duration outcomes," Working Paper Series 2005:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    14. Lancaster, Tony, 1985. "Simultaneous equations models in applied search theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 113-126, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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