A Caseworker Like Me: Does the Similarity between Unemployed and Caseworker Increase Job Placements?

Posted: 3 Nov 2008

See all articles by Stefanie Behncke

Stefanie Behncke

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Swiss National Bank

Markus Frölich

Universität Mannheim, Chair of Econometrics

Michael Lechner

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

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Abstract

This paper examines whether the chances of job placements improve if unemployed persons are counselled by caseworkers who belong to the same social group, defined by gender, age, education, and nationality. Based on an unusually informative dataset, which links Swiss unemployed to their caseworkers, we find positive employment effects of about 4 percentage points if caseworker and unemployed belong to the same social group. Coincidence in a single characteristic, e.g. same gender of caseworker and unemployed, does not lead to detectable effects on employment. These results, obtained by statistical matching methods, are confirmed by several robustness checks.

Keywords: social identity, social interactions, public employment services, unemployment, gender, age, education, treatment effects, matching estimators

JEL Classification: J64, J68, C31

Suggested Citation

Behncke, Stefanie and Frölich, Markus and Lechner, Michael, A Caseworker Like Me: Does the Similarity between Unemployed and Caseworker Increase Job Placements?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3437, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1294548 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Stefanie Behncke (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

Bonn, D-53072

Swiss National Bank ( email )

Financial Stability
Bundesplatz 1
Bern, 3003
Switzerland

Markus Frölich

Universität Mannheim, Chair of Econometrics ( email )

L7, 3-5
68131 Mannheim
D-Mannheim, 68131
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://froelich.vwl.uni-mannheim.de

Michael Lechner

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

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

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