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Optimal Use of Labour Market Policies

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  • Conny Wunsch

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Abstract

Labour market policies for the unemployed combine passive income support with active measures that aim at improving jobseekers' employment prospects. This paper extends the theoretical framework developed by Pavoni and Violante (2005a) for the optimal choice between different active and passive policies for the unemployed to a setting which allows for the use of a job search assistance programme that affects the exit rate to employment by raising search effectiveness but not productivity in the job. These programmes are one of the most widely used activation measures in OECD countries and should, therefore, be taken into account when considering the optimal design of labour market policies. The enriched model allows to answer a wide range of interesting policy questions. It is used to assess the optimality of the West German policy in the period 2000-2002 as well as the benefits from introducing tight monitoring. It is shown that sizeable budget savings could have been realised by switching to the optimal scheme, but that the net gains from monitoring are only small. In addition, some interesting results on the optimal use of job search assistance and training are derived. It is shown that existing policies already share some but not all features of the optimal scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Conny Wunsch, 2007. "Optimal Use of Labour Market Policies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-26, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-26
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2007/DP-26-Wu.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner & Heidi Steiger, 2003. "Statistically Assisted Programme Selection - International Experiences and Potential Benefits for Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(III), pages 311-331, September.
    2. Michael Gerfin & Michael Lechner, 2002. "A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 854-893, October.
    3. Lechner, Michael & Smith, Jeffrey, 2007. "What is the value added by caseworkers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 135-151, April.
    4. Christopher Phelan & Ennio Stacchetti, 2001. "Sequential Equilibria in a Ramsey Tax Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1491-1518, November.
    5. Michael Lechner, 2004. "Sequential Matching Estimation of Dynamic Causal Models," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-06, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    6. Keisuke Hirano & Jack R. Porter, 2009. "Asymptotics for Statistical Treatment Rules," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1683-1701, September.
    7. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
    8. Dehejia, Rajeev H., 2005. "Program evaluation as a decision problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 141-173.
    9. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2008. "A Caseworker Like Me - Does The Similarity Between Unemployed And Caseworker Increase Job Placements?," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    2. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frˆlich & Michael Lechner, 2010. "Unemployed and their caseworkers: should they be friends or foes?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(1), pages 67-92.
    3. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2009. "Targeting Labour Market Programmes - Results from a Randomized Experiment," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 145(III), pages 221-268, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance; active labour market policies; recursive contracts; job search; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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