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Using Matching Estiamtors to Evaluate Youth Employment Programs: Evidence from France, 1986-1988

  • Thomas Brodaty

    (CNRS and CREST-INSEE)

  • Bruno Crepon

    (CNRS and CREST-INSEE)

  • Denis Fougere

    (CNRS and CREST-INSEE)

In this paper we apply the statistical framework developed by Imbens (1998) and Lechner (1999) to identify and to estimate the causal effects of multiple treatments under the conditional independence assumption. The example concerns youth employment programs which were set up in France during the eighties to improve the labor market prospects of the most disadvantaged and unskilled young workers. The empirical analysis makes use of non- experimental longitudinal micro data collected by INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, Paris) from 1986 to 1988. In the first section, we show that under the conditional independence assumption, matching only on the ratio of the conditional propensity scores is sufficient to remove the selectivity bias and it is therefore possible to use directly a one dimensional kernel function for implementing the matching techniques which were recently studied by Heckman, Ichimura and Todd (1998) and Heckman, Ichimura, Smith and Todd (1998). The specification and the estimation of the propensity scores are key issues. Due to the fact that our sample is extracted from the stock of unemployed people at a given date (August 1986), a natural specification of the treatment probabilities may be derived from a competing-risks duration model that takes into account the stock sampling bias correction. Our results show that different programs have differentiated effects, but also that there are variations in the post-program effects for participants in the same program : in general the relative effectiveness tends to increase with respect to the ratio of the scores.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 0576.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0576
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  1. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  2. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fougère, Denis & Kramarz, Francis & Magnac, Thierry, 2000. "Youth Employment Policies In France," CEPR Discussion Papers 2394, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Guido W. Imbens, 1999. "The Role of the Propensity Score in Estimating Dose-Response Functions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bonnal, Liliane & Fougere, Denis & Serandon, Anne, 1997. "Evaluating the Impact of French Employment Policies on Individual Labour Market Histories," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 683-713, October.
  7. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey A, 1999. "The Pre-programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme. Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 313-48, July.
  8. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects of Multiple Treatments Under the Conditional Independence Assumption," IZA Discussion Papers 91, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Thierry Magnac, 1997. "State Dependence and Heterogeity in youth Employment Histories," Working Papers 97-47, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  10. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  11. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
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