IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Threat of Monitoring Job Search. A Discontinuity Design


  • Bart Cockx
  • Muriel Dejemeppe


Since July 2004 the job search effort of long-term unemployed benefit claimants is monitored in Belgium. We exploit the discontinuity in the treatment assignment at the age of 30 to evaluate the effect of a notification sent at least 8 months before job search is verified. The threat of monitoring increases transitions to employment, but of lower quality. In the less prosperous region, Wallonia, the impact is smaller, despite of the presence of specific counseling for the notified workers, and more heterogeneous. Moreover, in this region, the threat induces women to substitute sickness for unemployment benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe, 2010. "The Threat of Monitoring Job Search. A Discontinuity Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 3267, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3267

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rafael Lalive & Jan Van Ours & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1009-1038.
    2. Bart, COCKX & Jean, RIES, 2004. "The Exhaustion of Unemployment Benefits in Belgium. Does it Enhance the Probability of Employment ?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2004016, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Jan Boone & Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund & Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 399-421, March.
    4. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
    5. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    6. Jan Boone & Jan Ours, 2012. "Why is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 413-438, December.
    7. Petrongolo, Barbara, 2009. "The long-term effects of job search requirements: Evidence from the UK JSA reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1234-1253, December.
    8. Cockx, Bart & Ridder, Geert, 2001. "Social Employment of Welfare Recipients in Belgium: An Evaluation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 322-352, April.
    9. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, 2005. "The Effect Of Benefit Sanctions On The Duration Of Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1386-1417, December.
    10. Marco Caliendo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Arne Uhlendorff, 2013. "Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration And Job Match Quality: A Regression‐Discontinuity Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 604-627, June.
    11. Cees Gorter & Guyonne R. J. Kalb, 1996. "Estimating the Effect of Counseling and Monitoring the Unemployed Using a Job Search Model," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 590-610.
    12. Arni, Patrick & Lalive, Rafael & van Ours, Jan C, 2009. "How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 357-386, July.
    14. Battistin, Erich & Rettore, Enrico, 2008. "Ineligibles and eligible non-participants as a double comparison group in regression-discontinuity designs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 715-730, February.
    15. Kuhn, Andreas & Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2009. "The public health costs of job loss," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1099-1115, December.
    16. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    17. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    18. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2005. "Do unemployment insurance recipients actively seek work? Evidence from randomized trials in four U.S. States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 53-75.
    19. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    20. Rosholm, Michael, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on the Nature of the Danish Employment Miracle," IZA Discussion Papers 3620, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Geerdsen, Lars Pico & Holm, Anders, 2007. "Duration of UI periods and the perceived threat effect from labour market programmes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 639-652, June.
    22. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1996. "Unemployment Duration and the Restart Effect: Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 387-400, March.
    23. Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
    24. Muriel Dejemeppe, 2005. "A Complete Decomposition of Unemployment Dynamics using Longitudinal Grouped Duration Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(1), pages 47-70, February.
    25. Michael Rosholm & Michael Svarer, 2008. "The Threat Effect of Active Labour Market Programmes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 385-401, June.
    26. McVicar, Duncan, 2008. "Job search monitoring intensity, unemployment exit and job entry: Quasi-experimental evidence from the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1451-1468, December.
    27. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
    28. Lars Pico Geerdsen, 2006. "Is there a Threat Effect of Labour Market Programmes? A Study of ALMP in the Danish UI System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 738-750, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Hullegie, P.G.J., 2012. "Essays on health and labor economics," Other publications TiSEM dcc68fc9-7af1-4ba9-8f90-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Bart COCKX & Muriel DEJEMEPPE & Andrey LAUNOV & Bruno VAN DER LINDEN, 2011. "Monitoring, Sanctions and Front-Loading of Job Search in a Non-Stationary Model," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011042, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2012. "Monitoring job search effort: An evaluation based on a regression discontinuity design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 729-737.

    More about this item


    evaluation; monitoring; job-search; threat effect; regression-discontinuity; grouped data;

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • 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


    Access and download statistics


    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:ces:ceswps:_3267. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.