A Caseworker Like Me – Does the Similarity between the Unemployed and Their Caseworkers Increase Job Placements?

30 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2010

See all articles by Stefanie Behncke

Stefanie Behncke

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Swiss National Bank

Markus Frölich

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Lechner

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

Abstract

This article examines whether the chances of job placements improve if the unemployed 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 3 percentage points if the caseworker and his unemployed client 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.

Suggested Citation

Behncke, Stefanie and Frölich, Markus and Lechner, Michael, A Caseworker Like Me – Does the Similarity between the Unemployed and Their Caseworkers Increase Job Placements?. The Economic Journal, Vol. 120, Issue 549, pp. 1430-1459, December 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1710334 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02382.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

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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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