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Assisting the Long-Term Unemployed: Results from a Randomized Trial

Author

Listed:
  • Breunig, Robert

    () (Australian National University)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Dunlop, Yvonne

    () (affiliation not available)

  • Terrill, Marion

    () (Australian National University)

Abstract

Welfare reform in Australia centres on the concept of both economic and social participation. The policy concern is that people who fail to participate in economic and social life may become entrenched in disadvantage. In 2000 - 2001, a randomized trial was conducted by the Department of Family and Community Services in order to assess whether an intensive interview with successive follow-ups would result in increased economic and social participation for unemployed individuals who had been on income support for more than five years. We find evidence that participation in the trial led to a reduction in average weekly hours of work, but increased the amount of hours spent in study or training programs and the proportion of individuals engaged in such programs. We also find evidence of increased social integration associated with participation in the trial.

Suggested Citation

  • Breunig, Robert & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Dunlop, Yvonne & Terrill, Marion, 2002. "Assisting the Long-Term Unemployed: Results from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 628, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp628
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Counseling And Monitoring Of Unemployed Workers: Theory And Evidence From A Controlled Social Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 895-936, August.
    2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
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    4. Orley Ashenfelter & David Ashmore & Olivier Deschenes, 1998. "Do Unemployment Insurance Recipients Actively Seek Work? Randomized Trials in Four U.S. States," Working Papers 791, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Cees Gorter & Guyonne R. J. Kalb, 1996. "Estimating the Effect of Counseling and Monitoring the Unemployed Using a Job Search Model," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 590-610.
    6. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694.
    7. Paul W. Miller, 1997. "The Burden of Unemployment on Family Units: An Overview," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 30(1), pages 16-30.
    8. 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.
    9. Augurzky, Boris & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "The Propensity Score: A Means to An End," IZA Discussion Papers 271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
    11. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 1999. "Is the Threat of Training More Effective Than Training Itself? Experimental Evidence from the UI System," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9913, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    12. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1995. "The Impact of Restart on Reservation Wages and Long-Term Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(4), pages 451-470, November.
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    14. Gerard van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2000. "Counseling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Social Experiment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0972, Econometric Society.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Seamus McGuinness & Philip J. O’Connell & Elish Kelly, 2013. "Carrots, No Stick, No Driver: The Employment Impact of Job Search Assistance in a Regime with Minimal Monitoring and Sanctions," Working Papers 201308, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. repec:esr:resser:rs54 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Chris Ryan & Robert Breunig, 2006. "A Couples-Based Approach to the Problem of Workless Families," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(259), pages 428-444, December.
    4. McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J. & Kelly, Elish, 2011. "Carrots without Sticks: The Impacts of Job Search Assistance in a Regime with Minimal Monitoring and Sanctions," Papers WP409, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. repec:exl:22evid:v:2014:y:2014:i:4:p:1-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Wozniak, Marcin, 2016. "Job placement agencies in an artificial labor market," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-54.
    7. Wozniak, Marcin, 2016. "Job placement agencies in an agent-based model of the local labor market with the long-term unemployed and on-the-job flows," Economics Discussion Papers 2016-24, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng & Roger Wilkins, 2013. "Does Coordination of Welfare Services Delivery Make a Difference for Extremely Disadvantaged Jobseekers? Evidence from the ‘YP-super-4’ Trial," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(287), pages 469-489, December.
    9. McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J. & Kelly, Elish & Walsh, John R., 2011. "Activation in Ireland: An Evaluation of the National Employment Action Plan," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS20.
    10. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng & Roger Wilkins, 2005. "Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Methods of Microeconomic Program and Policy Evaluation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    11. Andrew Leigh, 2003. "Randomised Policy Trials," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 341-354.
    12. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2003. "How Do Administrative Arrangements Affect Exit from Unemployment Payments? The Case of the Job Seeker Diary in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    propensity score matching; active labor market programs; counseling and monitoring; long-term unemployment; welfare reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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