Advertisement

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics

, Volume 145, Issue 3, pp 221–268 | Cite as

Targeting labour market programmes — results from a randomized experiment

  • Stefanie Behncke
  • Markus Frölich
  • Michael Lechner
Open Access
Article

Summary

We evaluate a randomized experiment of a statistical support system developed to assist caseworkers in Swiss employment offices in choosing appropriate active labour market programmes for their unemployed clients. This statistical support system predicted the labour market outcome for each programme and thereby suggested an ‘optimal’ labour market programme for each unemployed person. The support system was piloted in several employment offices. In those pilot offices, half of the caseworkers used the system and the other half acted as control group. The allocation of the caseworkers to treatment and control group was random. The experiment was designed such that caseworkers retained full discretion about the choice of active labour market programmes, and the evaluation results showed that caseworkers largely did not follow the statistical support system. This indicates that stronger incentives are needed for caseworkers to comply with statistical profiling and targeting systems.

JEL-Classification

J68 

Keywords

Profiling active labour market programmes ALMP statistical treatment rules unemployment public employment services 

References

  1. Black, D., J. Smith, M. Berger, and B. Noel (2003), “Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System”, American Economic Review 93, pp. 1313–1327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Black, D., J. Smith, M. Plesca, and S. Plourde (2002), “Profiling UI claimants to Allocate Employment Services: Evidence and Recommendations for the States”, Final report to the US Department of Labour.Google Scholar
  3. Behncke, S., M. Frölich, and M. Lechner (2007), „Pilotprojekt Statistisch assistierte Programmselektion (SAPS)“, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco), http://www.seco.admin.ch/dokumentation/publikation/00004/00005/index.html?lang=de.
  4. Bell, S., and L. Orr (2002), “Screening (and Creaming?) Applicants to Job Training Programs: The AFDC Homemaker-Home Health Aide Demonstrations”, Labour Economics 9, pp. 279–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berger, M., D. Black, and J. Smith (2001), “Evaluating Profiling as a Means of Allocating Government Services”, in: Econometric Evaluation of Labour Market Policies, M. Lechner and F. Pfeiffer (eds), Physica/Springer, Heidelberg, pp. 59–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brownell, K. and T. Wadden (1991), “The Heterogeneity of Obesity: Fitting Treatments to Individuals”, Behavior Therapy, 22, pp. 153–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bryson, A., and D. Kasparova (2003), “Profiling Benefit Claimants in Britain: A Feasibility Study”, Department for Work and Pensions, Research Report no. 196.Google Scholar
  8. Colpitts, T. (2002), “Targeting Reemployment Services in Canada: The Service and Outcome Measurement System (SOMS) Experience”, in: Eberts, R. W., D. J. O’Leary, S. Wandner (eds), Targeting Employment Services, Kalamazoo, Michigan: W.E. Upjohn Institute, pp. 283–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dehejia, RH. (2005), “Program Evaluation as a Decision Problem”, Journal of Econometrics 125, pp. 141–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Koning, J. (1999), “The Chance-Meter: Measuring the Individual Chance of Long-Term Unemployment”, Paper presented at the Conference ‘Current Developments in the Evaluation of Employment Policies’, Barcelona, 19–20 July 1999, Division of Labour and Education, Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  11. Dickinson, K., P. Decker, and S. Kreutzer (2002), “Evaluation of WPRS sytems”, in: Eberts, R. W., D. J. O’Leary, S. Wandner (eds), Targeting Employment Services, Kalamazoo, Michigan: W. E. Upjohn Institute, pp. 61–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eberts, R. (2002), “Design, Implementation and Evaluation of the Work First Profiling Pilot Project”, Report for the US Department of Labor. http://wdr.doleta.gov/research/keyword.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_resultDetails&pub_id=2287&bas_option=Keywords&start=1&usrt=4&stype=basic&sv=1&criteria=work%20first.
  13. Eberts, R., and C. O’Leary (2002), “A Frontline Decision Support System for Georgia Career Centres”, W. E. Upjohn Institute Staff Working Paper no. 02-84, Kalamazoo, Michigan.Google Scholar
  14. Eberts, R., C. O’Leary and S. Wandner (2002), Targeting Employment Services, Kalamazoo, Michigan: W. E. Upjohn Institute.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Egger, M., and C. Lenz (2006), “Wirkungsevaluation der öffentlichen Arbeitsvermittlung – Evaluationsbericht”, SECO Publikation Arbeitsmarktpolitik No 18 (10.2006), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco), http://www.seco.admin.ch/dokumentation/publikation/00004/00005/index.html?lang=de. French version: http://www.seco.admin.ch/dokumentation/publikation/00004/00005/index.html?lang=fr.
  16. Fraser, N. (2000), “How Strong is the Case for Targeting Active Labour Market Policies”, International Journal of Manpower 20, pp. 151–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fredriksson, P., and P. Johansson (2003), “Program Evaluation and Random Program Starts”, IFAU Discussion Paper 2003:1.Google Scholar
  18. Frölich (2006), “Statistical Treatment Choice: An Application to Active Labour Market Programmes”, IZA Discussion Paper 2187.Google Scholar
  19. Frölich (2008), “Statistical Treatment Choice: An Application to Active Labour Market Programmes”, forthcoming in the Journal of the American Statistical Association.Google Scholar
  20. Frölich, M., M. Lechner, S. Behncke, S. Hammer, N. Schmidt, S. Menegale, A. Lehmann, and R. Iten (2007), “Einfluss der Rav auf die Wiedereingliederung von Stellensuchenden”, SECO Publikation Arbeitsmarktpolitik no. 20 (1.2007), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco), http://www.seco.admin.ch/dokumentation/publikation/00004/00005/index.html?lang=de.
  21. Frölich, M., M. Lechner, and H. Steiger (2003), “Statistically Assisted Programme Selection – International Experiences and Potential Benefits for Switzerland”, Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics 139, pp. 311–331.Google Scholar
  22. Horrace, W., and P. Schmidt (2000), “Multiple Comparisons with the Best, with Economic Applications”, Journal of Applied Econometrics 15, pp. 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keum, J. (2001), “Review of the Effectiveness of Public Employment Services”, in: Park, F., Y. Park, G. Betcherman, A. Dar (eds), Labor Market Reforms in Korea: Policy Options for the Future, Korea Labor Institute.Google Scholar
  24. Kreuter, M., and V. Strecher (1996), “Do Tailored Behavior Change Messages Enhance the Effectiveness of Health Risk Appraisals?: Results from a Randomized Trial”, Health Education Research 11, pp. 97–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lalive, R., J. van Ours, and J. Zweimüller (2005), “The Effect Of Benefit Sanctions On The Duration Of Unemployment”, Journal of the European Economic Association 3, pp. 1386–1417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lechner, M., and J. Smith (2007), “What is the Value Added by Caseworkers?”, Labour Economics 14, pp. 135–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Manski, C. (2000), “Identification Problems and Decisions under Ambiguity: Empirical Analysis of Treatment Response and Normative Analysis of Treatment Choice”, Journal of Econometrics 95, pp. 415–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Manski, C. (2004), “Statistical Treatment Rules for Heterogeneous Populations”, Econometrica 72, pp. 1221–1246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Manski, C. (2006), “Search Profiling With Partial Knowledge of Deterrence”, The Economic Journal 116, pp. F385–F401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Manski, C. (2007), “Minimax-Regret Treatment Choice with Missing Outcome Data ”, Journal of Econometrics 139, pp. 105–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moffitt, R (2006), “Welfare Work Requirements with Paternalistic Government Preferences”, The Economic Journal 116, pp. F441–F458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moisala, J., I. Suoniemi, and R. Uusitalo (2006), “Työttömien tilastollinen profilointi”, http://www.mol.fi/mol/fi/99_pdf/fi/06_tyoministerio/06_julkaisut/06_tutkimus/tpt316.pdf.
  33. Murphy, S. (2003), “Optimal Dynamic Treatment Regimes”, Journal of Royal Statistical Society, Series B 65, pp. 331–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Murphy, S., K. Lynch, D. Oslin, J. McKay, and T. TenHave (2007), “Developing Adaptive Treatment Strategies in Substance Abuse Research”, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Supplement 2, 88S, pp. S24–S30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. OECD (1998), “Early Identification of Jobseekers at Risk of Long-Term Unemployment: The Role of Profiling”, OECD Proceedings, Paris.Google Scholar
  36. O’Leary, D., P. Decker, and S. Wandner (2005), “Cost Effectiveness of Targeted Reemployment Bonuses”, Journal of Human Resources 40, pp. 270–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Plesca, M., and J. Smith (2005), “Rules versus Discretion in Social Programs: Empirical Evidence on Profiling in Employment and Training Programs”, unpublished, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  38. Persico, N., and P. Todd (2005), “Passenger Profiling, Imperfect Screening, and Airport Security”, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings 95, pp. 127–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Persico, N., and P. Todd (2006), “Generalising the Hit Rates Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement, With an Application to Vehicle Searches in Wichita”, The Economic Journal 116, pp. F351–F367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rudolph, H., and M. Müntnich (2001), “Profiling zur Vermeidung von Langzeitarbeitslosigkeit – erste Ergebnisse aus einem Modellprojekt”, MittAB, pp. 530–553.Google Scholar
  41. Rush, A. (2005), “Algorithm-Guided Treatment in Depression: TMAP and STAR*D”, in M. Bauer, A. Berghofer and M. Adli (eds), Therapieresistente Depressionen – Aktueller Wissensstand und Leitlinien für die Behandlung in Klinik und Praxis, Springer, Heidelberg.Google Scholar
  42. Smith, J. (2002), “Comments on Chapter 10”, in: Eberts, R.W., D.J. O’Leary S. Wandner (eds), Targeting Employment Services, Kalamazoo, Michigan: W.E. Upjohn Institute, 2002, pp. 303–308.Google Scholar
  43. Staghøj, J., M. Svarer, and M. Rosholm (2007), “A Statistical Programme Assignment Model”, mimeo.Google Scholar
  44. Stephan, G., S. Rässler, and T. Schewe (2006), “Das TrEffeR-Projekt der Bundesagentur für Arbeit. Die Wirkung von Maßnahmen aktiver Arbeitsmarktpolitik”, Zeitschrift für Arbeitsmarktforschung, 39, pp. 447–465.Google Scholar
  45. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (1999), “Evaluation of Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services Policy Workgroup: Final Report and Recommendations”, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  46. Velicer, W, and J. Prochaska (1999), “An Expert System Intervention for Smoking Cessation”, Patient Education and Counselling 36, pp. 119–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wandner, S. (2002), “Targeting Employment Services under the Workforce Investment Act”, in: Eberts, R.W., D.J. O’Leary, S. Wandner (eds.), Targeting Employment Services, Kalamazoo, Michigan: W.E. Upjohn Institute, 2002, 1–25.Google Scholar
  48. Wunsch, C. (2007), “Optimal Use of Labour Market Policies”, Discussion Paper 2007–26, Department of Economics, University of St.Gallen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie Behncke
    • 1
  • Markus Frölich
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Michael Lechner
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research (SEW)University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of MannheimMannheimGermany
  3. 3.IZABonnGermany
  4. 4.SEWSt. GallenSwitzerland
  5. 5.IFAUUppsalaSweden
  6. 6.ZEWMannheimGermany
  7. 7.CEPR and PSILondonUK
  8. 8.IZABonnGermany
  9. 9.IABNurembergGermany

Personalised recommendations