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How important are caseworkers – and why? New evidence from Swedish employment offices


  • Lagerström, Jonas

    () (Åbo Akademi University)


Caseworkers at the Swedish Public Employment Office (PES) have an important role in helping the unemployed to find a job. In this study, I estimate the effect of caseworkers on jobseekers' future employment rates, earnings, and wages. To take into account that the average characteristics of the unemployed can vary between caseworkers, I only use information from local employment offices that randomly allocate caseworkers to clients. The results indicate that caseworkers have an effect on the jobseekers' future employment and earnings. For example, the probability of being employed within a year is about 13 percent higher if the caseworker is one standard deviation higher in the distribution of caseworkers. Distinctive of a successful caseworker is that they assist in job search rather than assigning their jobseekers to various training programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Lagerström, Jonas, 2011. "How important are caseworkers – and why? New evidence from Swedish employment offices," Working Paper Series 2011:10, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bell, Stephen H. & Orr, Larry L., 2002. "Screening (and creaming?) applicants to job training programs: the AFDC homemaker-home health aide demonstrations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 279-301, April.
    2. Lechner, Michael & Smith, Jeffrey, 2007. "What is the value added by caseworkers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 135-151, April.
    3. Leigh, Andrew, 2010. "Estimating teacher effectiveness from two-year changes in students' test scores," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 480-488, June.
    4. Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2004. "Regional treatment intensity as an instrument for the evaluation of labour market policies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    5. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
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    More about this item


    Caseworker; program evaluation; active labour market policy;

    JEL classification:

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

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