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Does 'Work for the Dole' Work?

Author

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  • Jeff Borland

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne)

  • Yi-Ping Tseng

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This study examines the effect of a community-based work experience program - Work for the Dole (WfD) - on transitions out of unemployment in Australia. To evaluate the WfD program a quasi-experimental exact matching approach is applied. Justification for the matching approach is a 'natural experiment' - limits on WfD project funding - that it is argued constituted a source of random assignment to the program. Participation in the WfD program is found to be associated with a large and significant adverse effect on the likelihood of exiting unemployment payments. The main potential explanation is existence of a 'lock-in' effect whereby program participants reduce job search activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2004. "Does 'Work for the Dole' Work?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n14, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2004n14
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2004n14.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Michael Gerfin & Michael Lechner, 2002. "A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 854-893, October.
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    7. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2003. "How Do Administrative Arrangements Affect Exit from Unemployment Payments? The Case of the Job Seeker Diary in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    8. 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.
    9. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "A Critical Survey of Empirical Methods for Evaluating Active Labor Market Policies," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 247-268, September.
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    11. Robinson, Peter, 2000. "Active Labour-Market Policies: A Case of Evidence-Based Policy-Making?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 13-26, Spring.
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    14. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quintini, Glenda & Martin, John P. & Martin, Sébastien, 2007. "The Changing Nature of the School-to-Work Transition Process in OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2582, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Larsson, Laura & Lindqvist, Linus & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2005. "Stepping-stones or dead-ends? An analysis of Swedish replacement contracts," Working Paper Series 2005:18, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng & Roger Wilkins, 2005. "Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Methods of Microeconomic Program and Policy Evaluation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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