Measuring the effectiveness of Public Employment Service (PES) workers; an empirical analysis based on the performance outcomes of regional employment offices
In this paper, we measure the effectiveness of the Dutch public employment service (PES) for various performance measures, ranging from outflow rates to the timeliness of the benefits allocation. Using unique administrative monthly data from local PES offices during 2004, we exploit the fact that the number of PES workers per job seeker varies substantially between offices. We find additional PES workers to significantly increase outflow rates for short term unemployed and unemployment insurance (UI) recipients. In contrast, no effects are obtained for the outflow rates of long term unemployed and social assistance (SA) recipients. We also find additional PES workers to reduce the inflow into the schemes, to improve the timeliness of UI benefits and to increase the number of vacancies that are registered by offices. Although the effectiveness of PES workers is limited, we conclude that changes in the number of PES workers per client are cost-effective - that is, the extra costs are compensated for by the resulting reduction in benefit expenses.
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