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Does 'Work for the Dole' Work?

  • Jeff Borland

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne)

  • Yi-Ping Tseng

    ()

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2004n14.pdf
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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2004n14.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2004n14
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/Email:


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  1. Jochen Kluve & Hartmut Lehmann & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2000. "Disentangling Treatment Effects of Polish Active Labour Market Policies: Evidence from Matched Samples," CERT Discussion Papers 0007, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Hujer, Reinhard & Caliendo, Marco & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2004. "New evidence on the effects of job creation schemes in Germany--a matching approach with threefold heterogeneity," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 257-302, December.
  8. Heckman, J.J. & Hotz, V.J., 1988. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods For Estimating The Impact Of Social Programs: The Case Of Manpower Training," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-12, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  9. Knights, Stephen & Harris, Mark N & Loundes, Joanne, 2002. "Dynamic Relationships in the Australian Labour Market: Heterogeneity and State Dependence," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(242), pages 284-98, September.
  10. Bolvig, Iben & Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael, 2003. "The Employment Effects of Active Social Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Augurzky, Boris & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "The Propensity Score: A Means to An End," IZA Discussion Papers 271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  13. Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2002. "Can training and employment subsidies combat European unemployment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 409-448, October.
  14. 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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