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What active labor market policy works in a recession?

This paper discusses the case for expanding active labor market policy in recession. We find that there is reasonable case for relying more heavily on certain kinds of programs. The argument is tied to the varying size of the lock-in effect in boom and recession. If programs with relatively large lock-in effects should ever be used, they should be used in a downturn. The reason is simply that the cost of forgoing search time is lower in recession. We also provide new evidence on the relative effectiveness of different kinds of programs over the business cycle. In particular we compare an on-the-job training scheme with (traditional) labor market training. We find that labor market training is relatively more effective in recession. This result is consistent with our priors since labor market training features relative large lock-in effects.

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File URL: http://www2.ne.su.se/paper/wp11_09.pdf
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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2011:9.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 15 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2011_0009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 16 20 00
Fax: +46 8 16 14 25
Web page: http://www.ne.su.se/
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  1. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2005. "Optimal unemployment insurance design: time limits, monitoring, or workfare?," Working Paper Series 2005:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. Kluve, Jochen, 2010. "The effectiveness of European active labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 904-918, December.
  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. Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2009. "Are Training Programs More Effective When Unemployment Is High?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(4), pages 653-692, October.
  5. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series 1998:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  6. Conny Wunsch, 2013. "Optimal Use of Labor Market Policies: The Role of Job Search Assistance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 1030-1045, July.
  7. Raaum, Oddbjørn & Torp, Hege & Zhang, Tao, 2003. "Business cycles and the impact of labour market programmes," Memorandum 14/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  9. Erica L. Groshen & Simon Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
  10. Schmieder, Johannes F. & Wachter, Till von & Bender, Stefan, 2010. "The effects of unemployment insurance on labor supply and search outcomes : regression discontinuity estimates from Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201004, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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