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Long-term consequences of an innovative redundancy - retraining project : the Austrian Steel Foundation

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

In the late 1980s, privatization and downsizing of nationalized steel mills, and related firms in the metal industry, have lead to large-scale redundancy plans. A special Steel Foundation was created as part of a social plan. This foundation acted like an independent training center, where displaced workers would spend relatively long training periods, obtaining personality and orientation training, as well as formal education. The last step of the integrative program was placement assistance, as well as assistance for creating one's own business. The foundation was financed by (higher) contributions from unemployment insurance funds, by the previous firms themselves, as well as by a collectively-bargained special tax on the remaining workers in the steel firms. Moreover, the trainees themselves would have to support the foundation by giving up the interest accruing to their redundancy payments. The report combined data from Austrian social security records, and from the Employment Service, to look at participation decisions, and at post-foundation economic performance. Then, as a control group, all displaced workers were taken into consideration, using instrumental variables to solve the selection problem. Results show considerable wage gains - even for a period of five years after leaving the Foundation - as well as improved employments prospects, and, finally, a cost-benefit analysis assesses the long-term success of the Foundation.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 23155.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:23155
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  1. John P Martin, 1998. "What Works Among Active Labour Market Policies: Evidence from OECD Countries' Experiences," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Guy Debelle & Jeff Borland (ed.), Unemployment and the Australian Labour Market Reserve Bank of Australia.
  2. David Card, 1993. "Using Geographic Variation in College Proximity to Estimate the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  4. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  5. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1996. "Benefit Duration and Unemployment Entry: Quasi-experimental Evidence for Austria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1521, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Are Austrian Returns to Education Falling Over Time?," IZA Discussion Papers 72, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1998. "Potential Unemployment Benefit Duration and Spell Length: Lessons from a Quasi-Experiment in Austria," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(1), pages 33-45, February.
  8. Zweimuller, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1996. "Manpower Training Programmes and Employment Stability," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(249), pages 113-30, February.
  9. Luis Toharia & Antonio Ojeda, 1999. "The Management of Redundancies in Europe: The Case of Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(1), pages 237-267, 03.
  10. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "Firm Size, Earnings, and Displacement Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 474-86, July.
  11. Umberto Carabelli & Anna Ceci & Silvia Ciucciovino & Leonello Tronti, 1999. "The Management of Redundancies in Europe: The Case of Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(1), pages 327-383, 03.
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