IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A Caseworker Like Me: Does the Similarity between Unemployed and Caseworker Increase Job Placements?

  • Behncke, Stefanie


    (Swiss National Bank)

  • Frölich, Markus


    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lechner, Michael


    (University of St. Gallen)

This paper examines whether the chances of job placements improve if unemployed persons are counselled by caseworkers who belong to the same social group, defined by gender, age, education, and nationality. Based on an unusually informative dataset, which links Swiss unemployed to their caseworkers, we find positive employment effects of about 4 percentage points if caseworker and unemployed belong to the same social group. Coincidence in a single characteristic, e.g. same gender of caseworker and unemployed, does not lead to detectable effects on employment. These results, obtained by statistical matching methods, are confirmed by several robustness checks.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3437.

in new window

Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2010, 120(549), 1430-1459
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3437
Contact details of provider: Postal:
IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael & Steiger, Heidi, 2002. "Does subsidised temporary employment get the unemployed back to work? An econometric analysis of two different schemes," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 A2-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  2. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 370-99, April.
  3. Rafael Lalive & Jan Van Ours & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1009-1038.
  4. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas & van Ours, Jan C, 2000. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate From Welfare to Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 2447, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. JAMES G. MacKINNON, 2006. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages S2-S18, 09.
  6. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  7. Michael Lechner, 2000. "An Evaluation of Public-Sector-Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 347-375.
  8. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, 2005. "The Effect Of Benefit Sanctions On The Duration Of Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1386-1417, December.
  9. George Sheldon, 2003. "The Efficiency of Public Employment Services: A Nonparametric Matching Function Analysis for Switzerland," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 49-70, July.
  10. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel D. Goldhaber & Dominic J. Brewer, 1995. "Do Teachers' Race, Gender, and Ethnicity Matter? Evidence from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 547-561, April.
  11. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects of Multiple Treatments Under the Conditional Independence Assumption," IZA Discussion Papers 91, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
  14. Cutler, David & Glaeser, Edward L., 2008. "Social Interactions and Smoking," Working Paper Series rwp08-018, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  15. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
  18. Markus Froehlich & Katharina Michaelowa, 2005. "Peer effects and textbooks in primary education: Evidence from francophone sub-Saharan Africa," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-11, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  19. Brodaty, Thomas & Crépon, Bruno & Fougère, Denis, 2000. "Using Matching Estimators to Evaluate Alternative Youth Employment Programs: Evidence from France, 1986-1988," CEPR Discussion Papers 2604, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," CEE Discussion Papers 0065, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  21. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael, 2000. "Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Rafael Lalive, 2006. "How do Extended Benefits Affect Unemployment Duration? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1765, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, 07.
  24. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Peers at Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 112-45, March.
  25. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  26. Svarer, Michael, 2007. "The Effect of Sanctions on the Job Finding Rate: Evidence from Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 3015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  28. Dorsett, Richard, 2006. "The new deal for young people: effect on the labour market status of young men," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 405-422, June.
  29. Simon Gaechter & Armin Falk, . "Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation," IEW - Working Papers 019, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  30. Topa, Giorgio, 1997. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Working Papers 97-17, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  31. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," NBER Technical Working Papers 0325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2005. "Social Learning and Voluntary Cooperation Among Like-Minded People," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 303-314, 04/05.
  33. Armin Falk, 2007. "Gift Exchange in the Field," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1501-1511, 09.
  34. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  35. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
  36. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
  37. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
  38. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," IEW - Working Papers 017, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  39. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  40. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000143, David K. Levine.
  41. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
  42. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
  43. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  44. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Christiana Hilmer & Michael Hilmer, 2007. "Women Helping Women, Men Helping Women? Same-Gender Mentoring, Initial Job Placements, and Early Career Publishing Success for Economics PhDs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 422-426, May.
  46. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  47. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2008. "Is the gender gap in school performance affected by the sex of the teacher," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 37-53, February.
  48. Laura Larsson, 2003. "Evaluation of Swedish Youth Labor Market Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
  49. Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "A Professor Like Me: The Influence of Instructor Gender on College Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  50. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Conny Wunsch, 2005. "Labour Market Policy in Germany: Institutions, Instruments and Reforms since Unification," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-06, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  52. Conny Wunsch, 2007. "Optimal Use of Labour Market Policies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-26, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  53. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3437. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.