What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations

71 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2015 Last revised: 10 Sep 2015

See all articles by David Card

David Card

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jochen Kluve

Humboldt University of Berlin; RWI; IZA

Andrea Weber

Vienna University of Economics and Business; Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Date Written: July 2015

Abstract

We summarize the estimates from over 200 recent studies of active labor market programs. We classify the estimates by type of program and participant group, and distinguish between three different post-program time horizons. Using regression models for the estimated program effect (for studies that model the probability of employment) and for the sign and significance of the estimated effect (for all the studies in our sample) we conclude that: (1) average impacts are close to zero in the short run, but become more positive 2-3 years after completion of the program; (2) the time profile of impacts varies by type of program, with larger average gains for programs that emphasize human capital accumulation; (3) there is systematic heterogeneity across participant groups, with larger impacts for females and participants who enter from long term unemployment; (4) active labor market programs are more likely to show positive impacts in a recession.

Suggested Citation

Card, David E. and Kluve, Jochen and Weber, Andrea Michaela, What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations (July 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21431. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2641627

David E. Card (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Jochen Kluve

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

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RWI ( email )

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IZA

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Andrea Michaela Weber

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

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Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) ( email )

P.O. Box 91
Wien, A-1103
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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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