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Sensitivity of Matching-Based Program Evaluations to the Availability of Control Variables

Author

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  • Michael Lechner
  • Conny Wunsch

Abstract

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 labour 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 on individual health and firm characteristics of the last employer are particularly important for selection correction. Moreover, it is important to account for past performance on the labour market in a very detailed and flexible way. Information on job search behaviour, timing of unemployment and program start, as well as detailed regional characteristics are also relevant.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Sensitivity of Matching-Based Program Evaluations to the Availability of Control Variables," CESifo Working Paper Series 3381, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3381
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3381.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Conny Wunsch & Michael Lechner, 2008. "What Did All the Money Do? On the General Ineffectiveness of Recent West German Labour Market Programmes," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 134-174, February.
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    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    18. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Petri Böckerman & Mika Maliranta, 2013. "Outsourcing, Occupational Restructuring, and Employee Well-Being: Is There a Silver Lining?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 878-914, October.
    2. Marco Caliendo & Steffen Künn, 2015. "Getting back into the labor market: the effects of start-up subsidies for unemployed females," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1005-1043, October.
    3. Choe, Chung & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso & Lee, Sang-Jun, 2011. "Do Dropouts Benefit from Training Programs? Korean Evidence Employing Methods for Continuous Treatments," IZA Discussion Papers 6064, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Schmidl, Ricarda, 2011. "Fighting Youth Unemployment: The Effects of Active Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 6222, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Chung Choe & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Sang-Jun Lee, 2015. "Do dropouts with longer training exposure benefit from training programs? Korean evidence employing methods for continuous treatments," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 849-881, March.
    6. Caliendo, Marco & Kritikos, Alexander S. & Künn, Steffen & Loersch, Christian & Schröder, Helmut & Schütz, Holger, 2014. "Evaluation der Programme „Gründercoaching Deutschland“ und „Gründercoaching Deutschland – Gründungen aus der Arbeitslosigkeit“," IZA Research Reports 61, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    training; job search assistance; matching estimation; active labour market policies;

    JEL classification:

    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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