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The Impact of Active Labour Market Policy on Post-Unemployment Outcomes: Evidence from a Social Experiment in Denmark


  • Blasco, Sylvie

    () (GAINS, Université du Maine)

  • Rosholm, Michael

    () (Aarhus University)


While job search theory predicts that active labour market policies (ALMPs) can affect post-unemployment outcomes, empirical evaluations investigating transition rates have mostly focused on the impact of ALMPs on exit rates from the current unemployment spell. We use a social experiment, which was conducted in Denmark in 2005-6, to investigate the effects of a dramatic intensification of ALMPs on reemployment stability. We investigate the nature of this impact. We estimate a duration model with lagged duration dependence to separately identify "indirect" (via shorter unemployment duration) and "direct" (through a more efficient matching process) effects of ALMPs on subsequent employment duration. We find that overall intensive activation significantly reduces unemployment recurrence for men, but not for women. When we control for dynamic selection into employment and lagged duration dependence, the positive impact of the treatment becomes smaller but remains significant. 80% of the global impact of intensification acts through the direct channel for men.

Suggested Citation

  • Blasco, Sylvie & Rosholm, Michael, 2011. "The Impact of Active Labour Market Policy on Post-Unemployment Outcomes: Evidence from a Social Experiment in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 5631, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5631

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Michael Knaus & Michael Lechner & Anthony Strittmatter, 2017. "Heterogeneous Employment Effects of Job Search Programmes: A Machine Learning Approach," Papers 1709.10279,
    3. Torben Andersen & Michael Svarer, 2012. "Active labour market policies in a recession," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-19, December.
    4. Jonas Maibom & Michael Rosholm & Michael Svarer, 2017. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Early Meetings and Activation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 541-570, July.
    5. Blasco, Sylvie & Pertold-Gebicka, Barbara, 2013. "Employment policies, hiring practices and firm performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 12-24.
    6. Vikström, Johan & Rosholm, Michael & Svarer, Michael, 2013. "The effectiveness of active labor market policies: Evidence from a social experiment using non-parametric bounds," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 58-67.
    7. Sørensen, Kenneth Lykke, 2016. "Heterogeneous impacts on earnings from an early effort in labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 266-279.
    8. Kenneth L. Sørensen, 2012. "Effects of Intensifying Labor Market Programs on Post-Unemployment Wages: Evidence From a Controlled Experiment," Economics Working Papers 2012-20, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    9. Kennethh Lykke Sørensen, 2015. "Active Labor Market Programs and Reservation Wages: Its a Hazard," Economics Working Papers 2015-27, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

    More about this item


    social experiment; labour market policy regime; treatment effect; post-unemployment outcome; duration model; lagged duration dependence; dynamic selection;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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