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Targeting Labour Market Programmes: Results from a Randomized Experiment

Author

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  • Behncke, Stefanie

    (Swiss National Bank)

  • Frölich, Markus

    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lechner, Michael

    (University of St. Gallen)

Abstract

We evaluate a randomized experiment of a statistical support system developed to assist caseworkers in Swiss employment offices in choosing appropriate active labour market programmes for their unemployed clients. This statistical support system predicted the labour market outcome for each programme and thereby suggested an 'optimal' labour market programme for each unemployed person. The support system was piloted in several employment offices. In those pilot offices, half of the caseworkers used the system and the other half acted as control group. The allocation of the caseworkers to treatment and control group was random. The experiment was designed such that caseworkers retained full discretion about the choice of active labour market programmes, and the evaluation results showed that caseworkers largely ignored the statistical support system. This indicates that stronger incentives are needed for caseworkers to comply with statistical profiling and targeting systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Behncke, Stefanie & Frölich, Markus & Lechner, Michael, 2007. "Targeting Labour Market Programmes: Results from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3085, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3085
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oscar Mitnik, 2008. "How do Training Programs Assign Participants to Training? Characterizing the Assignment Rules of Government Agencies for Welfare-to-Work Programs in California," Working Papers 0907, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    2. Luis Ayala & Magdalena Rodríguez, 2010. "Evaluating welfare reform under program heterogeneity and alternative measures of success," Working Papers 186, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Jonathan M.V. Davis & Sara B. Heller, 2017. "Rethinking the Benefits of Youth Employment Programs: The Heterogeneous Effects of Summer Jobs," NBER Working Papers 23443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Weber, Andrea, 2008. "Individual Incentives in Program Participation: Splitting up the Process in Assignment and Enrollment," IZA Discussion Papers 3404, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Philip J. O’Connell & Seamus Mcguinness & Elish Kelly, 2012. "The Transition from Short- to Long-Term Unemployment: A Statistical Profiling Model for Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(1), pages 135-164.
    6. Bolhaar, Jonneke & Ketel, Nadine & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2020. "Caseworker's discretion and the effectiveness of welfare-to-work programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
    7. Bas van der Klaauw & Sandra Vriend, 2015. "A Nonparametric Method for Predicting Survival Probabilities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-126/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Jonas Staghøj & Michael Svarer & Michael Rosholm, 2010. "Choosing the Best Training Programme: Is there a Case for Statistical Treatment Rules?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(2), pages 172-201, April.
    9. Djebbari, Habiba & Smith, Jeffrey, 2008. "Heterogeneous impacts in PROGRESA," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 64-80, July.
    10. Mira Bierbaum & Eleonora E M Nillesen, 2021. "Sustaining the integrity of the threatened self: A cluster-randomised trial among social assistance applicants in the Netherlands," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(6), pages 1-21, June.
    11. Staghøj, Jonas & Svarer, Michael & Rosholm, Michael, 2007. "A Statistical Programme Assignment Model," IZA Discussion Papers 3165, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Pierre Koning, 2009. "The effectiveness of Public Employment Service workers in the Netherlands," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 393-409, October.
    13. Assadi, Anahita & Lundin, Martin, 2015. "Tenure and street-level bureaucrats: how assessment tools are used at the frontline of the public sector," Working Paper Series 2015:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    14. Reinhard Hujer, 2011. "Mikroökonometrie und Kausalität: Zur Bedeutung arbeitsmarktpolitischer Evaluationsstudien," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 5(1), pages 5-18, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ALMP; statistical treatment rules; profiling; unemployment; public employment services; active labour market programmes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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