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Carrots, No Stick, No Driver: The Employment Impact of Job Search Assistance in a Regime with Minimal Monitoring and Sanctions

  • Seamus McGuinness

    (Economic & Social Research Institute, Trinity College Dublin)

  • Philip J. O’Connell

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Elish Kelly

    (Economic & Social Research Institute, Trinity College Dublin)

This paper uses a high quality longitudinal dataset to assess the impact of an active labour market intervention consisting of referral for interview plus Job Search Assistance (JSA) with the public employment service in Ireland during a period when both job search monitoring and sanctions were virtually non-existent. We find that, relative to a control group with no intervention, unemployed individuals that received the interview letter and participated in JSA were 15 per cent less likely to have exited to employment prior to 12 months. The results hold when tested against the influences of both sample selection and unobserved heterogeneity bias. The negative treatment impact is attributed to individuals lowering their job search intensity on learning, through the JSA activation interview, of the lax nature of the activation process. The research, which is unusual in the international literature in allowing rrthe assessment of the impact of job search assistance in the virtual absence of monitoring and sanctions, highlights the need for effective monitoring and sanctions as integral components of labour market activation programmes.

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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201308.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 10 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201308
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