What Did All the Money Do? On the General Ineffectiveness of Recent West German Labour Market Programmes

42 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008

See all articles by Michael Lechner

Michael Lechner

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research

Conny Wunsch

University of Basel; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); University of St. Gallen

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Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

We provide new evidence on the effectiveness of West German labour market programmes by evaluating training and employment programmes that have been conducted 2000-2002 after the first large reform of German labour market policy in 1998. We employ exceptionally rich administrative data that allow us to use microeconometric matching methods and to estimate interesting effects for different types of programmes and participants at a rather disaggregated level. We find that, on average, all programmes fail to improve their participants' chances of finding regular, unsubsidised employment. Rather, participants accumulate 2-13 more months of unemployment than nonparticipants over the 2.5 years following programme start, which, in addition to direct programme costs, induces net costs in terms of benefit payments and wage subsidies amounting to, on average, 1500-7000 EUR per participant. However, we show that there is some scope for improvements in mean employment rates as well as potential for considerable cost savings by a reallocation of participants and nonparticipants to the different programmes.

Keywords: causal effects, Matching estimation, panel data, programme evaluation

JEL Classification: J68

Suggested Citation

Lechner, Michael and Wunsch, Conny, What Did All the Money Do? On the General Ineffectiveness of Recent West German Labour Market Programmes (May 2007). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6306, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136613

Michael Lechner (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research ( email )

Varnbuelstrasse 14
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland
+41 71 224 2320 (Phone)

Conny Wunsch

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Dufourstrasse 50
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

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