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Assisting the transition from workfare to work : a randomized experiment

  • Galasso, Emanuela
  • Ravallion, Martin
  • Salvia, Agustin

Randomly sampled workfare participants in a welfare-dependent region of Argentina were given a voucher that entitled an employer to a sizable wage subsidy. A second sample also received the option of skill training, while a third sample formed the control group. The authors analyze the effects of this scheme on participants'employment and income, using double-difference and instrumental-variables methods to dealwith potential experimental biases, including selective compliance with the randomized assignment. The authors find that compared with the control group, voucher recipients had a significantly higher probability of employment, though their current incomes were no higher. The impact was largely confined to women and younger workers. Labor supply effects appear to have been important. However, training had no significant impact. The experiment was cost-effective in reducing the government's welfare spending, since take-up of the subsidy by employers was low.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2738.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2738
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  1. Petra E. Todd & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2001. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Performance of Propensity-Score Matching Methods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 112-118, May.
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  11. Gary Burtless, 1985. "Are targeted wage subsidies harmful? Evidence from a wage voucher experiment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(1), pages 105-114, October.
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  14. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    • Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Chapters, in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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