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Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program


  • Richard Blundell

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL)

  • Monica Costa Dias

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Costas Meghir

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University)

  • John Van Reenen

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)


This paper is an evaluation of the British labor market program the "New Deal for the Young Unemployed" using administrative panel data on individuals between 1982 and 1999. This mandatory program involves extensive job assistance followed by various other options, including wage subsidies. We exploit the differential timing of the introduction of the program across regions as well as age-related eligibility rules to identify the program effect. Estimates of the employment effects of the mandatory job search assistance part of the program are presented using a variety of estimation techniques exploring combined "difference in differences" and matching procedures. Our key finding is that unemployed men are now 20% more likely to gain jobs than prior to the New Deal.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program," IFS Working Papers W01/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:01/20

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Wage Subsidies for the Disadvantaged," NBER Working Papers 5679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richard Layard, 2000. "Welfare-to-work and the New Deal," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 1(2), pages 29-39, April.
    5. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Nancy Clements, 1997. "Making The Most Out Of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting For Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535.
    6. Bassi, Laurie J, 1984. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs with Non-Random Selection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 36-43, February.
    7. Peter Dolton & Gerald Makepeace & John Treble, 1994. "Public- and Private-Sector Training of Young People in Britain," NBER Chapters,in: Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons, pages 261-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Experimentation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number haus85-1, January.
    9. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-660, November.
    10. Dickens, Richard & Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment: Theory and Evidence from Britain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 1-22, January.
    11. Gary Burtless, 1995. "The Case for Randomized Field Trials in Economic and Policy Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 63-84, Spring.
    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. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    14. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    15. Laurie J. Bassi, 1983. "The Effect of CETA on the Postprogram Earnings of Participants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(4), pages 539-556.
    16. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
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    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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