The Impact of the UK New Deal for Lone Parents on Benefit Receipt

54 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011

See all articles by Peter Dolton

Peter Dolton

University of London - Institute of Education; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jeffrey A. Smith

University of Wisconsin - Madison; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper evaluates the UK New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) program, which aims to return lone parents to work. Using rich administrative data on benefit receipt histories and a "selection on observed variables" identification strategy, we find that the program modestly reduces benefit receipt among participants. Methodologically, we highlight the importance of flexibly conditioning on benefit histories, as well as taking account of complex sample designs when applying matching methods. We find that survey measures of attitudes add information beyond that contained in the benefit histories and that incorporating the insights of the recent literature on dynamic treatment effects matters even when not formally applying the related methods. Finally, we explain why our results differ substantially from those of the official evaluation of NDLP, which found very large impacts on benefit exits.

Keywords: program evaluation, active labor market policy, matching, lone parents, New Deal

JEL Classification: I3

Suggested Citation

Dolton, Peter and Smith, Jeffrey Andrew, The Impact of the UK New Deal for Lone Parents on Benefit Receipt (February 1, 2011). IZA Discussion Paper No. 5491, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1765656 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1765656

Peter Dolton (Contact Author)

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Jeffrey Andrew Smith

University of Wisconsin - Madison

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