Wage Employment


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
the papers may also be available from other web sources. By providing links to other sites, the United Nations Foundation and ExxonMobil Foundation do not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information or products available on these sites.

  • Social Protection in a Crisis: Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas

    Galasso and Ravaillion (2004)

    Original abstract:

    The authors assess the impact of Argentina's main social policy response to the severe economic crisis of 2002. The program aimed to provide direct income support for families with dependents, for whom the head had become unemployed due to the crisis. Counterfactual comparisons are based on a matched subset of applicants not yet receiving the program. Panel data spanning the crisis are also used. The authors find that the program reduced aggregate unemployment, though it attracted as many people into the workforce from inactivity, as it did people who would have been otherwise unemployed. While there was substantial leakage to formally ineligible families, and incomplete coverage of those eligible, the program did partially compensate many losers from the crisis, and reduced extreme poverty.

    Intervention settings: Urban.

    Intervention description: Participants worked 20 hours per week in community work, training, school attendance or employment at a private company and in exchange received direct income support.

    Methodology: Cross-sectional and difference-in-difference propensity score matching.

    Sample: Heads of households with dependents who became unemployed as a result of Argentina's economic crisis in 2003.

    Findings: 26% of participants would have been unemployed and 23% would have been inactive without program. Study found substantial leakage to ineligibles, but the program was still well targeted at the poor.

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  • Assisting the Transition from Workfare to Work: A Randomized Experiment in Argentina

    Galasso, Ravaillion and Salvia (2001)

    Original abstract:

    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).

    Methodology: RCT.

    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.

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  • Estimating the Benefit Incidence of an Anti-Poverty Program using Propensity Score Matching

    Jalan and Ravaililon (2003)

    Original abstract:

    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.

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  • Active Labor Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization or Benefit Churning

    Kluve, Lehmann, Schmidt (1998)

    Original abstract:

    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.

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  • Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak Republic

    Lubyova and Ours (1999)

    Original abstract:

    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.

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