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The Employment Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany: A Microeconometric Evaluation

  • Caliendo, Marco

    ()

    (University of Potsdam)

  • Hujer, Reinhard

    ()

    (Goethe University Frankfurt)

  • Thomsen, Stephan L.

    ()

    (NIW Hannover, Leibniz Universität Hannover)

In this paper we evaluate the employment effects of job creation schemes on the participating individuals in Germany. Job creation schemes are a major element of active labour market policy in Germany and are targeted at long-term unemployed and other hard-to-place individuals. Access to very informative administrative data of the Federal Employment Agency justifies the application of a matching estimator and allows to account for individual (group-specific) and regional effect heterogeneity. We extend previous studies in four directions. First, we are able to evaluate the effects on regular (unsubsidised) employment. Second, we observe the outcome of participants and non-participants for nearly three years after programme start and can therefore analyse mid- and long-term effects. Third, we test the sensitivity of the results with respect to various decisions which have to be made during implementation of the matching estimator, e.g. choosing the matching algorithm or estimating the propensity score. Finally, we check if a possible occurrence of 'unobserved heterogeneity' distorts our interpretation. The overall results are rather discouraging, since the employment effects are negative or insignificant for most of the analysed groups. One notable exception are long-term unemployed individuals who benefit from participation. Hence, one policy implication is to address programmes to this problem group more tightly.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1512.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Millimet, D., Smith, J. and Vytlacil, E. (eds.), Advances in Econometrics, Volume 21: Estimating and Evaluating Treatment Effects in Econometrics, 2008, 383-430
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1512
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  1. DiPrete, Thomas A. & Gangl, Markus, 2004. "Assessing bias in the estimation of causal effects: Rosenbaum bounds on matching estimators and instrumental variables estimation with imperfect instruments," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2004-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  5. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working Papers 780, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  9. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  10. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "A Critical Survey of Empirical Methods for Evaluating Active Labor Market Policies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20006, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  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. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2005. "Identifying Effect Heterogeneity to Improve the Effiency of Job Creation Schemes in Germany?," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-21, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Alex Bryson & Richard Dorsett & Susan Purdon, 2002. "The use of propensity score matching in the evaluation of active labour market policies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4993, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. 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.
  15. Puhani, Patrick A, 1998. "Advantage Through Training? A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Employment Effects of Active Labour Market Programmes in Poland," CEPR Discussion Papers 2000, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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