IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Policy Discontinuity and Duration Outcomes


  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    () (University of Bristol)

  • Bozio, Antoine

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Costa Dias, Monica

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)


Causal effects of a policy change on hazard rates of a duration outcome variable are not identified from a comparison of spells before and after the policy change, if there is unobserved heterogeneity in the effects and no model structure is imposed. We develop a discontinuity approach that overcomes this by considering spells that include the moment of the policy change and by exploiting variation in the moment at which different cohorts are exposed to the policy change. We prove identification of average treatment effects on hazard rates without model structure. We estimate these effects by kernel hazard regression. In effect, we merge duration analysis and discontinuity analysis. We use the introduction of the NDYP program for young unemployed individuals in the UK to estimate average program participation effects on the exit rate to work as well as anticipation effects.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Berg, Gerard J. & Bozio, Antoine & Costa Dias, Monica, 2014. "Policy Discontinuity and Duration Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8450

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Monica Costa Dias & Hidehiko Ichimura & Gerard Van Den Berg, 2007. "The matching method for treatment evaluation with selective participation and ineligibles," CeMMAP working papers CWP33/07, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. John Van Reenen, 2004. "Active Labor Market Policies and the British New Deal for the Young Unemployed in Context," NBER Chapters,in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 461-496 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bruno Crépon & Marc Ferracci & Grégory Jolivet & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2009. "Active Labor Market Policy Effects in a Dynamic Setting," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 595-605, 04-05.
    4. 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.
    5. Meyer, Bruce D, 1996. "What Have We Learned from the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 26-51, January.
    6. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2008. "Dynamic Treatment Assignment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 435-445.
    7. Abbring, Jaap H & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2005. "Social experiments and intrumental variables with duration outcomes," Working Paper Series 2005:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    8. Caroline Hall & Laura Hartman, 2010. "Moral hazard among the sick and unemployed: evidence from a Swedish social insurance reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 27-50, August.
    9. 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.
    10. Jens Perch Nielsen, 2001. "Boundary and Bias Correction in Kernel Hazard Estimation," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 28(4), pages 675-698.
    11. Brinch, Christian N., 2007. "Nonparametric Identification Of The Mixed Hazards Model With Time-Varying Covariates," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(02), pages 349-354, April.
    12. McVicar, Duncan & Jan M Podivinsky, 2003. "Unemployment Duration Before and After New Deal," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 153, Royal Economic Society.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. van der Klaauw, Bas & van Ours, Jan C., 2010. "Carrot and Stick: How Reemployment Bonuses and Benefit Sanctions Affect Job Finding Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 5055, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Muller, Paul & van der Klaauw, Bas & Heyma, Arjan, 2017. "Comparing Econometric Methods to Empirically Evaluate Job-Search Assistance," Working Papers in Economics 691, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Gerard J. van den Berg & Annette H. Bergemann & Marco Caliendo, 2009. "The Effect of Active Labor Market Programs on Not-Yet Treated Unemployed Individuals," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 606-616, 04-05.
    4. Arni, Patrick & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lalive, Rafael, 2015. "Treatment versus Regime Effects of Carrots and Sticks," IZA Discussion Papers 9457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Annette Bergemann & Marco Caliendo & Gerard J. van den Berg & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "The threat effect of participation in active labor market programs on job search behavior of migrants in Germany," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 777-795, October.
    6. Crépon, Bruno & Ferracci, Marc & Jolivet, Grégory & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2010. "Analyzing the Anticipation of Treatments Using Data on Notification Dates," IZA Discussion Papers 5265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Berg, Gerard J. van den & Bonev, Petyo & Mammen, Enno, 2016. "Nonparametric instrumental variable methods for dynamic treatment evaluation," Working Papers 16-02, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    8. Wapler, Rüdiger & Werner, Daniel & Wolf, Katja, 2014. "Active labour-market policies in Germany : do regional labour markets benefit?," IAB Discussion Paper 201428, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item


    policy evaluation; hazard rate; identification; causality; regression discontinuity; selectivity; kernel hazard estimation; local linear regression; average treatment effect; job search assistance; youth unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:dp8450. 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: .

    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.