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Regional Effect Heterogeneity of Start-Up Subsidies for the Unemployed

  • Caliendo, Marco


    (University of Potsdam)

  • Künn, Steffen


    (Maastricht University)

Recent microeconometric evaluation studies have shown that start-up subsidies for unemployed individuals are an effective policy tool to improve long-term employment and income prospects of participants, in particular compared to other active labor market programs (e.g. training, job search assistance or job creation schemes). What has not been examined yet are the potentially heterogeneous effects of start-up programs across regional labor markets. Labor demand side restrictions in areas with relatively bad labor market conditions generally increase entries into start-up programs as job offers are limited and starting an own business is an opportunity to leave unemployment. However, the survival of firms in deprived areas is also lower, such that the overall effect remains an empirical question. We use a combination of administrative and survey data and observe participants in two distinct start-up programs in Germany for five years after start-up as well as a control group of unemployed who did not enter these programs. We add information on unemployment rates and GDP per capita at the labor agency district level to distinguish regional labor markets. Using propensity score matching methods we find supportive evidence that the founding process and development of businesses as well as program effectiveness is influenced by prevailing economic conditions at start-up.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7460.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Regional Studies, 2014, 48 (6), 1108-1134
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7460
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  1. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 485, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Fritsch, Michael & Brixy, Udo & Falck, Oliver, 2004. "The effect of industry, region and time on new business survival: A multi-dimensional analysis," Freiberg Working Papers 2004,04, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  3. Duncan McVicar & Jan M. Podivinsky, 2010. "Are Active Labour Market Programmes Least Effective Where They Are Most Needed? The Case of the British New Deal for Young People," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Falck, Oliver, 2007. "Survival chances of new businesses: Do regional conditions matter?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20493, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2007. "Are training programs more effective when unemployment is high?," IAB Discussion Paper 200707, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  7. Hannu Tervo, 2006. "Regional unemployment, self-employment and family background," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 1055-1062.
  8. Michael Fritsch, 2008. "How does new business formation affect regional development? Introduction to the special issue," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 1-14, January.
  9. Fahr, René & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," Munich Reprints in Economics 20482, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Howard J. Wall & Yannis Georgellis, 2000. "What makes a region entrepreneurial? Evidence from Britain," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 385-403.
  11. Rotger, Gabriel Pons & Gørtz, Mette & Storey, David J., 2012. "Assessing the effectiveness of guided preparation for new venture creation and performance: Theory and practice," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 506-521.
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  13. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Joachim Wagner & Rolf Sternberg, 2004. "Start-up activities, individual characteristics, and the regional milieu: Lessons for entrepreneurship support policies from German micro data," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 219-240, 06.
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  16. Daniel Lechmann & Claus Schnabel, 2012. "Why is there a gender earnings gap in self-employment? A decomposition analysis with German data," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-25, December.
  17. Brixy, Udo & Grotz, Reinhold, 2006. "Regional patterns and determinants of new firm formation and survival in western Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 200605, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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