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


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.




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


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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

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