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Is Counseling Welfare Recipients Cost-Effective ? Lessons from a Random Experiment

  • Bruno Crépon

    ()

    (CREST and JPAL)

  • Marc Gurgand

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics, CREST and JPAL)

  • Thierry Kamionka

    ()

    (CREST-CNRS)

  • Laurent Lequien

    ()

    (DARES and CREST)

Job-search counseling is a potentially desirable labor market policy because it reduces market frictions, but it is strongly work-intensive as it requires repeated individual contact between job-seeker and case worker. Although it has become widely used, little is known about its cost-efficiency. This paper uses an experiment where individuals who have been on welfare for more than two years in a French district were randomly allocated to a counseling firm. We show that the policy causal impact is to increase employment and decrease the amounts of welfare transfers paid to the beneficiaries. However, the effects are small relative to the cost charged by the providing firm. Therefore, the net public cost, accounting for gains in welfare transfer payment, remains larger than reason- able social values that can be attached to having a former welfare recipient on a job. Although this is true for the policy as a whole, as implemented in this experiment, there is significant heterogeneity. In particular, it is more efficient and more cost-effective on a population of limited seniority on welfare

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2013-01.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2013-01
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  1. Bruno Crépon & Muriel Dejemeppe & Marc Gurgand, 2005. "Counseling the unemployed: does it lower unemployment duration and recurrence?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590769, HAL.
  2. van den Bergh, Gerhard & van deer Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Counseling and monitoring of unemployed workers: theory and evidence from a controlled social experiment," Working Paper Series 2001:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. David E. Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2009. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-analysis," NRN working papers 2009-02, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. Boone, J. & Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B. & van Ours, J.C., 2007. "Optimal unemployment insurance with monitoring and sanctions," Other publications TiSEM f2b1b916-41f5-4964-bad8-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. Centeno, Luis & Centeno, Mário & Novo, Álvaro A., 2009. "Evaluating job-search programs for old and young individuals: Heterogeneous impact on unemployment duration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 12-25, January.
  6. Blundell, Richard William & Costa Dias, Monica & Meghir, Costas & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Programme," CEPR Discussion Papers 3786, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590769 is not listed on IDEAS
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