Job-Search Periods for Welfare Applicants: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 16-013/V

52 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2016

See all articles by Jonneke Bolhaar

Jonneke Bolhaar

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics

Nadine Ketel

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; VU University Amsterdam; University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute

Bas van der Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2, 2016

Abstract

This paper studies mandatory job-search periods for welfare applicants. During this period the benefits application is put on hold and the applicant is obliged to make job applications. We combine a randomized experiment with detailed administrative data to investigate the effects of imposing a job-search period. We find strong and persistent effects on the probability to collect welfare benefits. The reduced benefits are fully compensated by increased earnings from work. Furthermore, we do not find evidence of adverse consequences for the most vulnerable applicants. Our results therefore suggest that a job-search period is an effective instrument for targeting welfare-benefits applicants.

Keywords: job search, welfare-to-work, active labor-market policies, randomized experiment

JEL Classification: C21, C93, I38, J64, J08

Suggested Citation

Bolhaar, Jonneke A. and Ketel, Nadine and van der Klaauw, Bas, Job-Search Periods for Welfare Applicants: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment (March 2, 2016). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 16-013/V. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2742128 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2742128

Jonneke A. Bolhaar (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Nadine Ketel

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

No Address Available

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Bas Van der Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6120 (Phone)
+31 20 444 6005 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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