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Promoting Self Employment Among the Unemployed in Hungary and Poland

To evaluate the effectiveness of self-employment assistance to the unemployed in Hungary and Poland more than 5,500 follow-up interviews were conducted in early 1997 by employees of local labor offices with persons in self-employment participant and comparison group samples. Wide ranging differences were observed between the demographic composition of self- employment samples and the general population of unemployed. Program effects were therefore computed as net impact estimates controlling for systematic sample selection using observable characteristics including information on job search assistance from the employment service. While self-employment assistance yielded a favorable set of net impact estimates in both countries, there was a significant dead weight in the operation of programs. Many of those receiving self- employment assistance probably would have gained reemployment without government assistance. However, even after accounting for sample selection, program impacts in both countries on unemployment compensation savings were large, and impacts on employment outcomes were large and positive. In Poland there were also large and positive earnings impacts. A negative estimated earnings impact in Hungary may have been due to a reluctance for full disclosure to tax authorities. In both countries there were appreciable secondary employment effects of between 0.31 and 0.83 additional workers hired per person given self-employment assistance. Among subgroups, self- employment appeared to be more effective in high unemployment areas in Hungary, among females in Poland, outside of service industries in Hungary, and outside of manufacturing and construction in Poland.

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File URL: http://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1072&context=up_workingpapers
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Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 99-55.

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Date of creation: Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:99-55
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  1. George E. Johnson & James D. Tomola, 1977. "The Fiscal Substitution Effect of Alternative Approaches to Public Service Employment Policy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26.
  2. Paul T. Decker & Christopher J. L'Leary, 1995. "Evaluating Pooled Evidence from the Reemployment Bonus Experiments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 534-550.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marek Gora and Christoph M. Schmidt & Marek Gora and Christoph M. Schmidt, 1997. "Long-Term Unemployment, Unemployment Benefits and Social Assistance: The Polish Experience," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 110, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  5. Gyula Nagy & John Micklewright, 1998. "Unemployment assistance in Hungary," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1/2), pages 155-175.
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