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Evaluating an Innovative Redundancy-Retraining Project: The Austrian Steel Foundation

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  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

    () (University of Linz)

Abstract

This paper evaluates an Austrian manpower training program, which is highly innovative in its content and financing - and could therefore serve as a role model for other programs. In the late 1980s privatization and down-sizing of nationalized steel firms have lead to large-scale redundancies. A special Steel Foundation was created as part of a social plan. This Foundation acted like an independent training center, where displaced workers would spend relatively long training periods (sometimes several years), obtaining personality and orientation training, as well as formal education. The last step of the integrative program was placement assistance as well as assistance for creating one’s own business. The Foundation was financed by (higher) contributions from unemployment insurance funds, by the previous firms themselves, as well as by a collectively-bargained special tax on the remaining workers in the Steel Firms. Moreover the trainees themselves would have to support the Foundation by depositing their redundancy payments. In evaluating post-foundation economic performance I use days worked and wage growth. As a control group I take all other displaced workers from the firms who formed the Foundation, using Instrumental Variables to solve the selection problem. The results show considerable wage gains - even for a period of five years after leaving the Foundation - as well as improved employment prospects. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis is performed to assess the long-term success of the Foundation.

Suggested Citation

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "Evaluating an Innovative Redundancy-Retraining Project: The Austrian Steel Foundation," IZA Discussion Papers 277, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp277
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Speckesser, Stefan, 2000. "Zur wissenschaftlichen Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland: Ein Überblick," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Lower and upper bounds of returns to schooling: An exercise in IV estimation with different instruments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 889-901, April.
    3. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    4. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1996. "Benefit Duration and Unemployment Entry: Quasi-experimental Evidence for Austria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1521, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. repec:fth:prinin:317 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Are Austrian returns to education falling over time?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 73-89, February.
    7. David Card, 1993. "Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling," Working Papers 696, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Kluve, Jochen, 2010. "The effectiveness of European active labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 904-918, December.
    3. Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Josef Zweimüller, 2010. "Fatal attraction? Access to early retirement and mortality," IEW - Working Papers 499, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Tauchmann, Harald & Göhlmann, Silja & Requate, Till & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2007. "Tobacco and Alcohol: Complements or Substitutes? – A Structural Model Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 34, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2007. "The Curse and Blessing of Training the Unemployed in a Changing Economy: The Case of East Germany After Unification," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 468-509, November.
    6. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Long‐Run Effects Of Public Sector Sponsored Training In West Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 742-784, August.
    7. Conny Wunsch & Michael Lechner, 2008. "What Did All the Money Do? On the General Ineffectiveness of Recent West German Labour Market Programmes," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 134-174, February.
    8. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," RWI Discussion Papers 37, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    9. Sarah Bernhard & Thomas Kruppe, 2012. "Effectiveness of Further Vocational Training in Germany – Empirical Findings for Persons Receiving Means-tested Unemployment Benefits," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 132(4), pages 501-526.
    10. Stavros Rodokanakis, 2010. "Unemployment Risk in Southern Greece," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 13(35), pages 55-82, (1).
    11. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2018, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Konle-Seidl, Regina, 2005. "Lessons learned: Internationale Evaluierungsergebnisse zu Wirkungen aktiver und aktivierender Arbeitsmarktpolitik," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200509, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    13. Hedwig Lutz & Helmut Mahringer, 2007. "Does Labour Market Promotion Work in Austria? Main Evaluation Findings on Active Labour Market Policy Programmes in Austria," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 80(3), pages 199-218, March.
    14. Johannes Schweighofer, 2013. "Erzielen die Programme der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Österreich ihre beabsichtigten Wirkungen?," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 120, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    15. Viktor Steiner & Tobias Hagen, 2002. "Was kann die Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland aus der Evaluationsforschung in anderen europäischen Ländern lernen?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 189-206, May.
    16. Eichhorst, Werner, 2007. "Report No. 13: Wachstumsaspekte der Arbeitsmarktpolitik - Von den Nachbarn lernen," IZA Research Reports 13, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cost-benefit analysis; evaluation; Labor market programs; Instrumental Variables;

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy

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