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

56 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 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 21, 2015

Abstract

We present a meta-analysis of impact estimates from over 200 recent econometric evaluations of active labor market programs from around the world. We classify estimates by program type and participant group, and distinguish between three different post-program time horizons. Using meta-analytic models for the effect size of a given estimate (for studies that model the probability of employment) and for the sign and significance of the estimate (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 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.

Keywords: Active labor market policy; program evaluation; meta-analysis

JEL Classification: J00, J68

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 21, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2706536 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2706536

David E. Card

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

Room 3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
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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 (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

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RWI ( email )

Essen
Germany

IZA

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

Andrea Michaela Weber

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

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Vienna, 1020
Austria

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) ( email )

P.O. Box 91
Wien, A-1103
Austria

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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