Is There a Rationale to Contact the Unemployed Right from the Start? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

32 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2016

See all articles by Bert Van Landeghem

Bert Van Landeghem

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); University of Sheffield - Department of Economics

Frank Cörvers

Maastricht University

Andries de Grip

Maastricht School of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Active Labour Market Policies often exclusively target towards the long-term unemployed. Although it might be more efficient to intervene earlier in order to prevent long-term unemployment rather than to cure it, the climate of austerity in Eurozone countries is spreading a tendency to further reduce the basic counselling for those who become unemployed. This study investigates the impact on employment chances of a relatively light and inexpensive programme that is offered right after the start of the unemployment spell. It comprises of a collective information session followed by a short one-on-one interview. In a field experiment carried out with an employment office in Flanders, a random selection of clients (the treatment group) were invited to the programme within one month after being enrolled as unemployed, while the control group were scheduled to have the information session five months after becoming unemployed. We find a substantial intention- to-treat effect in the first four months after the start of the unemployment spell, and the early intervention seems especially beneficial for those with low education.

Keywords: Active Labour Market Policies, unemployment, nudging, natural field

JEL Classification: D04, D61, J64, J68

Suggested Citation

Van Landeghem, Bert and Corvers, Frank and de Grip, Andries, Is There a Rationale to Contact the Unemployed Right from the Start? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9627, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2716428

Bert Van Landeghem (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

University of Sheffield - Department of Economics ( email )

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT
UNITED KINGDOM

Frank Corvers

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Andries De Grip

Maastricht School of Business and Economics ( email )

P. O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL 6200 MD
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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