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

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimueller, "undated". "The Impact of Active Labor Market Programs on the Duration of Unemployment," IEW - Working Papers 041, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:041
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_iew/iewwp041.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Lubyova, Martina & van Ours, Jan C., 1999. "Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak Republic," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 90-112, March.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 1999. "Is the Threat of Training More Effective Than Training Itself? Experimental Evidence from the UI System," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9913, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    7. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
    8. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael & Steiger, Heidi, 2005. "Does subsidised temporary employment get the unemployed back to work? Aneconometric analysis of two different schemes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 807-835, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Paolo Naticchioni & Silvia Loriga, 2011. "Short and Long Term Evaluations of Public Employment Services in Italy," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 57(3), pages 201-229.
    4. Picchio, Matteo & van Ours, Jan C., 2013. "Retaining through training even for older workers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 29-48.
    5. Michael Lechner & Stephan Wiehler, 2011. "Kids or courses? Gender differences in the effects of active labor market policies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 783-812, July.
    6. Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2004. "Regional treatment intensity as an instrument for the evaluation of labour market policies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    7. Frölich, Markus & Lechner, Michael, 2010. "Exploiting Regional Treatment Intensity for the Evaluation of Labor Market Policies," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(491), pages 1014-1029.
    8. Bart Cockx & Henri Sneessens & Bruno Van der linden, 2004. "Allégements de charges sociales : une mesure à promouvoir mais à réformer," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 55-68.
    9. Bruno, CREPON & Muriel, DEJEMEPPE & Marc, GURGAND, 2005. "Counseling the unemployed : does it lower unemployment duration and recurrence ?," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005034, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    10. Puhani, Patrick A, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of Swiss Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3828, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Michael Lechner & Markus Froelich, 2010. "Combining Matching and Nonparametric IV Estimation: Theory and an Application to the Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-21, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    12. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2002. "Program Evaluation and Random Program Starts," Working Paper Series 2003:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    13. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2004. "Dynamic Treatment Assignment – The Consequences for Evaluations Using Observational Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Michael Rosholm & Michael Svarer, 2004. "Estimating the Threat Effect of Active Labour Market Programmes," CAM Working Papers 2004-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
    15. Stephan Gesine, 2008. "The Effects of Active Labor Market Programs in Germany: An Investigation Using Different Definitions of Non-Treatment," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 586-611, October.
    16. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2006. "Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland und der Schweiz: eine Gegenüberstellung," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 75(3), pages 118-154.
    17. Michael Lechner & Stephan Wiehler, 2013. "Does the Order and Timing of Active Labour Market Programmes Matter?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(2), pages 180-212, April.
    18. Patrick A. Puhani, 2002. "The Rise and Fall of Swiss Unemployment - Relative Demand Shocks, Wage Rigidities, and Temporary Immigrants," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-29, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    19. Gaure, Simen & Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2007. "Time and causality: A Monte Carlo assessment of the timing-of-events approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1159-1195, December.
    20. Guillaume Blache, 2011. "Active labour market policies in Denmark: A comparative analysis of post-program effects," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11071, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    21. Zhang, Tao, 2003. "A Monte Carlo study on non-parametric estimation of duration models with unobserved heterogeneity," Memorandum 25/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    22. Michael Lechner & Stephan Wiehler, 2007. "Does the Order and Timing of Active Labor Market Programs Matter?," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-38, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    23. Blache, Guillaume, 2008. "Active Labour Market Policies in Denmark: A Comparative Analysis of Post-Program Effects," MPRA Paper 23168, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Feb 2009.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    active labor market policy; benefit entitlement; treatment effect; bivariate duration model;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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