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The Impact of Active Labor Market Programs on the Duration of Unemployment

  • Rafael Lalive
  • Jan C. van Ours
  • Josef Zweimueller

In 1997, the Swiss government introduced active labor market programs on a large scale to improve the job chances of unemployed workers. This paper evaluates the effect of these programs on the duration of unemployment. Our evaluation methodology allows for selectivity affecting the inflow into programs. We find that in most cases the programs do not reduce the duration of unemployment. The exception is the program of temporary wage subsidies which reduces unemployment, but only for foreign workers. From a cost-benefit point of view, temporary wage subsidies seem to be the only program worthwhile pursuing.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 041.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:041
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  1. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "Is the Threat of Training More Effective than Training Itself? Experimental Evidence from the UI System," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1660, Econometric Society.
  2. 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.
  3. Martina Lubyova & Jan C. van Ours, 1998. "Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 213, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael, 2000. "Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
  6. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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