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The effect of active labor market programs on not-yet treated unemployed individuals

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.


    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Bergemann, Annette

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Caliendo, Marco


Labor market programs may affect unemployed individuals' behavior before they enroll. Such ex ante effects are hard to identify without model assumptions. We develop a novel method that relates self-reported perceived treatment rates and job-search behavioral outcomes, like the reservation wage, to each other, among newly unemployed workers. Job search theory is used to derive theoretical predictions. To deal with effect heterogeneity and selectivity, the effects of interest are estimated by propensity score matching. We apply the method to the German ALMP system, using a novel data set including self-reported assessments of the variables of interest as well as an unusually detailed amount of information on behavior, attitudes, and past outcomes. We find that the system generates a negative ex ante effect on the reservation wage and a positive effect on search effort.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2008:26.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 15 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2008_026
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  1. Abbring, Jaap H & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2005. "Social experiments and intrumental variables with duration outcomes," Working Paper Series 2005:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J, 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Exclusion Restrictions for Instrumental Variable Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Imbens, Guido W. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 3640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Berg, G.J. van den & Gorter, C., 1996. "Job search and commuting time," Serie Research Memoranda 0001, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  5. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, . "The Effect of Benefit Sanctions on the Duration of Unemployment," IEW - Working Papers 110, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Gerard van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2000. "Counseling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Social Experiment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0972, Econometric Society.
  7. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-76, November.
  8. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1990. "Nonstationarity in Job Search Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 255-77, April.
  9. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 485, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
  11. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2005. "Social Experiments and Instrumental Variables with Duration Outcomes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-047/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Bernhard, Sarah & Hohmeyer, Katrin & Jozwiak, Eva & Koch, Susanne & Kruppe, Thomas & Stephan, Gesine & Wolff, Joachim, 2008. "Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland und ihre Wirkungen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200802, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  13. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
  14. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Counselling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Controlled Social Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. 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.
  16. Lancaster, Tony, 1985. "Simultaneous equations models in applied search theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 113-126, April.
  17. Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Propensity score matching," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2001 12, Stata Users Group, revised 23 Aug 2001.
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