Original abstracts from the papers in the database are provided below. All abstracts are drawn directly from the papers referenced. Links to access the papers are provided, although
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Galasso, Ravaillion and Salvia (2001)
Randomly sampled workfare participants in a welfare-dependent region of Argentina were given a voucher that entitled an employer to a sizable wage subsidy. A second sample also received the option of skill training while a third sample formed the control group. Double-difference and instrumental- variables methods were used to deal with potential experimental biases, including selective compliance with the randomized assignment. Compared to the control group, voucher recipients had a significantly higher probability of employment, though their current incomes were no higher. The impact was largely confined to women and younger workers. Labor supply effects appear to have been important. Training had no significant impact. The experiment was cost effective, given that take-up of the subsidy by employers was low.
Intervention settings: Urban.
Intervention description: Skill training and/or vouchers for workfare participants to give to prospective employers (18 month wage subsidy).
Sample: Adult beneficiaries of temporary employment programs.
Findings: Voucher reduced probability of unemployment (despite fact that few firms made use of the voucher). Private sector employment was 15% for voucher recipients compared to 9% for controls. Women and younger workers had largest impacts.
Jalan and Ravaililon (2003)
We apply recent advances in propensity-score matching (PSM) to the problem of estimating the distribution of net income gains from an Argentinean workfare program. PSM has a number of attractive features in this context, including the need to allow for heterogeneous impacts while optimally weighting observed characteristics when forming a comparison group. The average direct gain to the participant is found to be about half the gross wage. Over half of the beneficiaries are in the poorest decile nationally, and 80% are in the poorest quintile. Our PSM estimator is reasonably robust to a number of changes in methodology.
Intervention settings: Urban.
Intervention description: Local governments and nongovernmental organizations submitted proposals for "socially useful projects," which were then ranked according to some criteria. Projects last at most six months.
Methodology: Nearest neighbor propensity score matching.
Sample: Lower average income, higher average family size, more likely to have borrowed to meet their basic needs, receives less from informal sources and more likely to participate in some form of political organization.
Findings: Average gain in household income for participants was $103 dollars, with greater gains for younger people.
Active Labor Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization or Benefit ChurningKluve, Lehmann, Schmidt (1998)
This paper provides micro-econometric evidence on the effectiveness of Active Labor Market Policies (ALMP) in Poland. We sketch the theoretical framework of matching estimators as a substitute for randomization in labor market programs. Using retrospective data from the 18th wave of the Polish Labor Force Survey we implement a conditional difference-indifferences matching estimator of treatment effects. Treatment and control groups are matched over individual observable characteristics and pre-treatment labor market histories to minimize bias from unobserved heterogeneity. We also require that observations on controls be from the same regional labor market and from an identical phase of the transition cycle. Considering as the outcome a multinomial variable of labor market status, our first important finding suggests that training of men and women has a positive effect on the employment probability. For men public works and intervention works have negative treatment effects, while participat in in intervention works does not affect women's employment probabilities. We attribute the negative treatment effects for men to benefit churning rather than to stigmatization of intervention and public works participants.
Intervention settings: Urban
Intervention description: Three forms of training: publicly financed training and retraining, wage subsidies for workers in private or public firms, and public works. Courses lasted 2-3 months. People receive unemployment benefits during training.
Methodology: Difference-in-difference matching, where outcome is labor force status. Control group consists of people who had been registered unemployed over same time period.
Sample: Unemployed workers offered program at their local labor office.
Findings: Training/program increase average employment probability for women and men over both short and medium term. Non-training ALMP did not have a positive benefit.
Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak RepublicLubyova and Ours (1999)
The system of active labor market policies (ALMP) in the Slovak Republic consists to a large extent of the creation of socially purposeful and publicly useful jobs and of retraining of unemployed workers. So far, the effects of these types of active labor market policies have hardly been analyzed. This paper uses a unique administrative data from 20 Slovak districts to analyze to what extent it is beneficial for unemployed workers who want a regular job to accept a temporary ALMP-job or enter a retraining program. We find that indeed it is beneficial for workers to do so.
Intervention settings: Urban.
Intervention description: Two ALMP programs providing retraining and counseling services, and wage subsidies at either socially purposeful jobs (up to 2 years) or publicly useful jobs (up to 6 months at public works-type job).
Methodology: Model the duration of unemployment and duration of stay in an ALMP program.
Sample: Adult unemployed workers.
Findings: Workers that enter ALMP have a 150% increase in the exit rate into a regular job. Benefits of retraining were only observed for socially purposeful jobs.
Aedo and Nunez (2004)
This research evaluates the "Programa Joven", a training program conducted by the Ministerio del Trabajo of Argentina. We adapt and apply a non-experimental evaluation methodology to answer the following questions: Does "Programa Joven" increase the labor income of the trainees? Does "Programa Joven" increase the probability of being employed? And (3) what is the rate of return to dollars spent on the "Programa Joven"? We used Propensity Scores Matching Estimators as our basic methodology to obtain a measure of the impact of the training program. Our choice of this methodological approach was based upon both the theoretical developments in the area of Program Evaluation and the availability of relevant information. We used three different set of data to estimate the Propensity Scores which allowed us to analyze the question on how sensitive Program impact estimates are to different propensity score specifications? This question has not been addressed by the previous literature. Our results indicate first, that Program impact on earnings were statistically significant for young males and adult females. This result was not sensitive to the number of nearest neighbors. Second, the estimated Program impact on employment was statistically significant for adult females only. Again the result was not sensitive to the number of nearest neighbors. Third, impact estimates on earnings and employment for the groups with statistically significant results were not sensitive to the different sources of information used to estimate the propensity scores. This was a surprising result as we expected to observe greater variability in the impact results across different propensity score specifications. Fourth, the cost-benefit exercise conducted suggest that we required at least 9 years of duration of the earnings impact for the Program to have a positive net present value for the groups with statistically significant results.
Intervention settings: Rural and urban (across 11 regions)
Intervention description: Provides an average of 200 hours of training over 14-20 weeks (classroom followed by internship), a monetary subsidy for females with children, transportation expenses, medical checkups, books, materials and work clothing.
Methodology: Cross-sectional propensity score matching using program beneficiaries and eligible non-participants.
Sample: Young people from poor households with low education levels and little work experience, who were unemployed or inactive.
Findings: Positive employment impacts for women of 6% at 12 months, and 15% at 18 months. Beneficiary women generate 93% more labor income than their control counterparts. Decrease in measures of occupational segregation. Negative employment impacts for men.