IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp4773.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Use of Labor Market Policies: The Role of Job Search Assistance

Author

Listed:
  • Wunsch, Conny

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

This paper studies the role of job search assistance programs in optimal welfare-to-work programs. The analysis is based on a framework, that allows for endogenous choice of benefit types and levels, wage taxes or subsidies, and activation measures such as monitoring and job search assistance for each period of unemployment in a dynamic environment with negative duration dependence in the exit rates to employment and potential depreciation in reemployment wages. We show that the main role of job search assistance is to delay or prevent situations in which it is no longer optimal to incentivize the worker to provide positive search effort. It is used to restore or maintain some minimum exit rate to employment which increases with the cost-effectiveness of job search assistance. We also find that in line with existing policies, these programs should mainly be used at the beginning of unemployment and for short durations. However, contrary to existing schemes, they should be exclusively targeted at unemployed workers with low initial exit rates to employment. For all other workers, they should only be used if they fail to find a job within reasonable time despite high expected initial exit rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Wunsch, Conny, 2010. "Optimal Use of Labor Market Policies: The Role of Job Search Assistance," IZA Discussion Papers 4773, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4773
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4773.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 370-399, April.
    2. 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, July.
    3. Jan Boone & Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund & Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 399-421, March.
    4. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 211-241, January.
    5. Peter Dolton & Donal O'Neill, 2002. "The Long-Run Effects of Unemployment Monitoring and Work-Search Programs: Experimental Evidence from the United Kingdom," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 381-403, Part.
    6. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Optimal unemployment insurance design: Time limits, monitoring, or workfare?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(5), pages 565-585, September.
    7. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-1362, December.
    8. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2008. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 45-77, March.
    9. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The causes and consequences of longterm unemployment in Europe," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 3085-3139 Elsevier.
    10. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen, 1996. "Unemployment insurance with moral hazard in a dynamic economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-41, June.
    11. van Ours, Jan C., 2004. "The locking-in effect of subsidized jobs," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 37-55, March.
    12. Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Differential effects of Swedish active labour market programmes for unemployed adults during the 1990s," IFS Working Papers W01/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Gabriele Cardullo & Bruno Van der Linden, 2007. "Employment Subsidies and Substitutable Skills: An Equilibrium Matching Approach," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 375-404.
    17. Bruno, VAN DER LINDEN, 2003. "Unemployment insurance and training in an equilibrium matching model with heterogeneous agents," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003001, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    18. 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.
    19. Michael Lechner & Stephan Wiehler, 2013. "Does the Order and Timing of Active Labour Market Programmes Matter?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(2), pages 180-212, April.
    20. Davidson, Carl & Woodbury, Stephen A., 1997. "Optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 359-387, June.
    21. Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Swedish System of Active Labor Market Programs in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 133-155, February.
    22. Nicola Pavoni & G. L. Violante, 2007. "Optimal Welfare-to-Work Programs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 283-318.
    23. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, June.
    24. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel, 2010. "Identification of the effects of dynamic treatments by sequential conditional independence assumptions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 111-137, August.
    25. 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.
    26. Coles, Melvyn & Masters, Adrian, 2000. "Retraining and long-term unemployment in a model of unlearning by not doing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1801-1822, October.
    27. Cahuc, Pierre & Lehmann, Etienne, 2000. "Should unemployment benefits decrease with the unemployment spell?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 135-153, July.
    28. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    29. Stephen E. Spear & Sanjay Srivastava, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617.
    30. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    31. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    32. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Sequential Causal Models for the Evaluation of Labor Market Programs," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 71-83.
    33. Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2002. "Can training and employment subsidies combat European unemployment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 409-448, October.
    34. Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso & Gonzalez, Arturo & Neumann, Todd C., 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Length of Exposure to a Training Program: The Case of Job Corps," IZA Discussion Papers 2846, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    35. Jespersen, Svend T. & Munch, Jakob R. & Skipper, Lars, 2008. "Costs and benefits of Danish active labour market programmes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 859-884, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe & Andrey Launov & Bruno Van der Linden, 2018. "Imperfect Monitoring of Job Search: Structural Estimation and Policy Design," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 75-120.
    2. Forslund, Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Vikström, Johan, 2011. "What active labor market policy works in a recession?," Working Paper Series 2011:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Bart COCKX & Muriel DEJEMEPPE & Andrey LAUNOV & Bruno VAN DER LINDEN, 2011. "Monitoring, Sanctions and Front-Loading of Job Search in a Non-Stationary Model," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011042, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    4. Alessio Brown & Johannes Koettl, 2015. "Active labor market programs - employment gain or fiscal drain?," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, December.
    5. Boockmann, Bernhard & Osiander, Christopher & Stops, Michael & Verbeek, Hans, 2013. "Effekte von Vermittlerhandeln und Vermittlerstrategien im SGB II und SGB III (Pilotstudie) : Abschlussbericht an das IAB durch das Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung e. V. (IAW), Tübingen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201307, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    6. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2015. "Workplace health promotion and labour market performance of employees," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 170-189.
    7. Burt S. Barnow & Jeffrey Smith, 2015. "Employment and Training Programs," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 2, pages 127-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The Effect of Firms' Partial Retirement Policies on the Labour Market Outcomes of Their Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 7513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2013. "Structural Empirical Evaluation of Job Search Monitoring," CEPR Discussion Papers 9751, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Riemer P. Faber & Pierre Koning, 2017. "Why not fully spend a conditional block grant?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(1), pages 60-95, February.
    11. Boockmann, Bernhard & Brändle, Tobias, 2015. "Coaching, Counseling, Case-Working: Do They Help the Older Unemployed Out of Benefit Receipt and Back into the Labor Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 8811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Nicola Pavoni & Ofer Setty & Giovanni Violante, 2016. "The design of 'soft' welfare-to-work programs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 160-180, April.
    13. Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2010. "Training and Search during Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    recursive contracts; welfare-to-work policies; job search; optimal unemployment insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4773. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.