Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

No 691: Comparing Econometric Methods to Empirically Evaluate Job-Search Assistance

Paul Muller (), Bas van der Klaauw and Arjan Heyma
Additional contact information
Paul Muller: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O.Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Bas van der Klaauw: VU University Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute
Arjan Heyma: SEO Economic Research

Abstract: We test whether different empirical methods give different results when evaluating job-search assistance programs. Budgetary problems at the Dutch unemployment insurance (UI) administration in March 2010, caused a sharp drop in the availability of these programs. Using administrative data provided by the UI administration, we evaluate the effect of the program using (1) the policy discontinuity as a quasiexperiment, (2) conventional matching methods, and (3) the timing-of-events model. All three methods use the same data to consider the same program in the same setting, and also yield similar results. The program reduces job finding during the first six months after enrollment. At longer durations, the quasi-experimental estimates are not significantly different from zero, while the non-experimental methods show a small negative effect.

Keywords: empirical policy evaluation; job-search assistance; unemployment duration

JEL-codes: C14; C31; J64

57 pages, February 2017

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