IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/restat/v99y2017i1p180-183.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Do Tougher Caseworkers Increase Employment? The Role of Program Assignment as a Causal Mechanism

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Huber

    (University of Fribourg)

  • Michael Lechner

    (University of St. Gallen, CEPR and PSI, CESIfo, IAB, and IZA)

  • Giovanni Mellace

    (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

Previous research found that less accommodating caseworkers are more successful in placing unemployed workers into employment. This paper explores the causal mechanisms behind this result using semi-parametric mediation analysis. Analyzing rich linked job seeker-caseworker data for Switzerland, we find that the positive employment effects of less accommodating caseworkers are not driven by a particularly effective mix of labor market programs but, rather, by other dimensions of the counseling process, possibly including threats of sanctions and pressure to accept jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Giovanni Mellace, 2017. "Why Do Tougher Caseworkers Increase Employment? The Role of Program Assignment as a Causal Mechanism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(1), pages 180-183, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:1:p:180-183
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00632
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael & Steiger, Heidi, 2005. "Does subsidised temporary employment get the unemployed back to work? Aneconometric analysis of two different schemes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 807-835, December.
    2. Nattavudh Powdthavee & Warn N. Lekfuangfu & Mark Wooden, 2013. "The Marginal Income Effect of Education on Happiness: Estimating the Direct and Indirect Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Well-Being in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "Sensitivity of matching-based program evaluations to the availability of control variables," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 111-121.
    4. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Long‐Run Effects Of Public Sector Sponsored Training In West Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 742-784, August.
    5. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    6. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2010. "Unemployed and their caseworkers: should they be friends or foes?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(1), pages 67-92, January.
    7. Racine, Jeffrey S. & MacKinnon, James G., 2007. "Inference via kernel smoothing of bootstrap P values," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(12), pages 5949-5957, August.
    8. 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.
    9. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The performance of estimators based on the propensity score," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 1-21.
    10. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
    11. Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2009. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Mechanisms and Net Effects of a Treatment under Unconfoundedness," IZA Discussion Papers 4237, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. JAMES G. MacKINNON, 2006. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 2-18, September.
    13. 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.
    14. Stijn Vansteelandt & Tyler J. VanderWeele, 2012. "Natural Direct and Indirect Effects on the Exposed: Effect Decomposition under Weaker Assumptions," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 1019-1027, December.
    15. Michael Lechner, 2002. "Some practical issues in the evaluation of heterogeneous labour market programmes by matching methods," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(1), pages 59-82, February.
    16. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
    17. Imai, Kosuke & Yamamoto, Teppei, 2013. "Identification and Sensitivity Analysis for Multiple Causal Mechanisms: Revisiting Evidence from Framing Experiments," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 141-171, April.
    18. 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.
    19. 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, January.
    20. Lars Skipper & Marianne Simonsen, 2006. "The costs of motherhood: an analysis using matching estimators," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 919-934.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Frölich, Markus & Huber, Martin & Wiesenfarth, Manuel, 2017. "The finite sample performance of semi- and non-parametric estimators for treatment effects and policy evaluation," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 91-102.
    2. Strobl, Renate & Wunsch, Conny, 2018. "Identification of causal mechanisms based on between-subject double randomization designs," CEPR Discussion Papers 13028, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Lechner, Michael, 2018. "Modified Causal Forests for Estimating Heterogeneous Causal Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 12040, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Viviana Celli, 2019. "Causal Mediation Analysis in Economics: objectives, assumptions, models," Working Papers 12/19, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    5. Huber, Martin & Schelker, Mark & Strittmatter, Anthony, 2019. "Direct and Indirect Effects based on Changes-in- Changes," FSES Working Papers 508, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    6. Michael C Knaus & Michael Lechner & Anthony Strittmatter, 2021. "Machine learning estimation of heterogeneous causal effects: Empirical Monte Carlo evidence," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 24(1), pages 134-161.
    7. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Anthony Strittmatter, 2018. "Direct and indirect effects of training vouchers for the unemployed," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 181(2), pages 441-463, February.
    8. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Giovanni Mellace, 2016. "The Finite Sample Performance of Estimators for Mediation Analysis Under Sequential Conditional Independence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 139-160, January.
    9. Doerr Annabelle & Strittmatter Anthony, 2021. "Identifying Causal Channels of Policy Reforms with Multiple Treatments and Different Types of Selection," Journal of Econometric Methods, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 67-88, January.
    10. Michael Knaus & Michael Lechner & Anthony Strittmatter, 2017. "Heterogeneous Employment Effects of Job Search Programmes: A Machine Learning Approach," Papers 1709.10279, arXiv.org, revised May 2018.
    11. N. N., 2017. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, Heft 6/2017," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 90(6), June.
    12. Amelie Schiprowski, 2020. "The Role of Caseworkers in Unemployment Insurance: Evidence from Unplanned Absences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(4), pages 1189-1225.
    13. Vikström, Johan & Söderström, Martin & Cederlöf, Jonas, 2021. "What makes a good caseworker?," Working Paper Series 2021:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    14. Michael C. Knaus, 2020. "Double Machine Learning based Program Evaluation under Unconfoundedness," Papers 2003.03191, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2021.
    15. Martin Huber & Anna Solovyeva, 2020. "On the Sensitivity of Wage Gap Decompositions," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 1-33, June.
    16. Prifti, Ervin & Daidone, Silvio & Davis, Benjamin, 2019. "Causal pathways of the productive impacts of cash transfers: Experimental evidence from Lesotho," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 258-268.
    17. Steinmayr, Andreas, 2014. "When a random sample is not random: Bounds on the effect of migration on household members left behind," Kiel Working Papers 1975, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    18. Rainer Eppel & Helmut Mahringer & Petra Sauer, 2017. "Österreich 2025 Arbeitslosigkeit und die Rolle der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 90(6), pages 493-505, June.
    19. Ville Vehkasalo, 2020. "Effects of face-to-face counselling on unemployment rate and duration: evidence from a Public Employment Service reform," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 54(1), pages 1-14, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The Effect of Firms' Partial Retirement Policies on the Labour Market Outcomes of Their Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 7513, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2015. "Workplace health promotion and labour market performance of employees," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 170-189.
    3. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Andreas Steinmayr, 2015. "Radius matching on the propensity score with bias adjustment: tuning parameters and finite sample behaviour," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, August.
    4. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Anthony Strittmatter, 2018. "Direct and indirect effects of training vouchers for the unemployed," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 181(2), pages 441-463, February.
    5. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "Sensitivity of matching-based program evaluations to the availability of control variables," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 111-121.
    6. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Does leaving welfare improve health? Evidence for Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 484-504, April.
    7. Pawlowski, Tim & Schüttoff, Ute & Downward, Paul & Lechner, Michael, 2014. "Children’s skill formation in less developed countries – The impact of sports participation," Economics Working Paper Series 1412, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    8. Lechner, Michael, 2008. "Long-Run Labour Market Effects of Individual Sports Activities," IZA Discussion Papers 3559, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Pawlowski, Tim & Schüttoff, Ute & Downward, Paul & Lechner, Michael, 2014. "Sport participation and Child Development in Less Developed Countries," Economics Working Paper Series 1433, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    10. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The performance of estimators based on the propensity score," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 1-21.
    11. Caliendo, Marco & Mahlstedt, Robert & Mitnik, Oscar A., 2017. "Unobservable, but unimportant? The relevance of usually unobserved variables for the evaluation of labor market policies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 14-25.
    12. Behncke, Stefanie & Frölich, Markus & Lechner, Michael, 2008. "A Caseworker Like Me: Does the Similarity between Unemployed and Caseworker Increase Job Placements?," IZA Discussion Papers 3437, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Ferman, Bruno, 2017. "Matching Estimators with Few Treated and Many Control Observations," MPRA Paper 78940, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Long-run labour market and health effects of individual sports activities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 839-854, July.
    15. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Long‐Run Effects Of Public Sector Sponsored Training In West Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 742-784, August.
    16. Marco Caliendo & Stefan Tübbicke, 2020. "New evidence on long-term effects of start-up subsidies: matching estimates and their robustness," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(4), pages 1605-1631, October.
    17. Tymon Słoczyński, 2015. "The Oaxaca–Blinder Unexplained Component as a Treatment Effects Estimator," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(4), pages 588-604, August.
    18. Markus Frölich & Martin Huber, 2017. "Direct and indirect treatment effects–causal chains and mediation analysis with instrumental variables," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1645-1666, November.
    19. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Giovanni Mellace, 2016. "The Finite Sample Performance of Estimators for Mediation Analysis Under Sequential Conditional Independence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 139-160, January.
    20. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2010. "Unemployed and their caseworkers: should they be friends or foes?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(1), pages 67-92, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:1:p:180-183. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ann Olson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.