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Personal Reemployment Accounts: Simulations for Planning Implementation




The proposed Back to Work Incentive Act of 2003 recommended personal reemployment accounts (PRAs) that would provide each eligible unemployment insurance (UI) claimant with a special account of up to $3,000 to finance reemployment activities. Account funds could be used to purchase intensive, supportive, and job training services. Any funds remaining in the PRA could be paid as a cash bonus for reemployment within 13 weeks, or drawn as extended income maintenance for exhaustees of regular UI benefits. Personal reemployment account offers would be targeted to UI beneficiaries most likely to exhaust their UI entitlements using state Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) models. The draft legislation called for a budget of $3.6 billion for PRAs, with the money to be committed over a two-year period. This report provides a simulation analysis of questions relevant to implementation of PRAs by states. The analysis is done using data for the state of Georgia. Simulations rely on recent patterns of intensive, supportive, and training services use. Simulations for alternative rules setting the PRA amount and varying behavioral responses are examined. Like the legislative proposal, simulated PRA offers are targeted using WPRS models. The key question examined is, how many PRA offers can a state make given a fixed budget? Proposed and alternative rules for substate budget allocation are also examined. The framework presented in this paper allows the exploration of several behavioral responses to incentives created by the PRA.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J. O'Leary & Randall W. Eberts, 2004. "Personal Reemployment Accounts: Simulations for Planning Implementation," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 04-110, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:04-110
    Note: This paper is available as U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Occasional Paper 2004-08. It can be found on the Internet at:

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Alexey Gorislavsky, 2007. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 761-783, November.
    2. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Randall W. Eberts, 2005. "After the doors close: assisting laid-off workers to find jobs," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 75-85.
    2. Annalisa Mastri & Emily Evans & Stacy Pancratz & Carrie Wolfson, 2012. "Employment Research in Brief: An Annotated Bibliography of ETA-Sponsored Studies," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 2f5be979ffa14d3996aa77f33, Mathematica Policy Research.

    More about this item


    profiling; worker; WPRS; personal; reemploymt; accounts; PRA; Upjohn; Eberts; O'Leary;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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