Reciprocity and the Interaction between the Unemployed and the Caseworker

36 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2019

See all articles by Gerard J. van den Berg

Gerard J. van den Berg

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

Iris Kesternich

KU Leuven - Department of Economics; Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics

Gerrit Müller

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Abstract

We investigate how negatively reciprocal traits of unemployed individuals interact with "sticks" policies imposing constraints on individual job search effort in the context of the German welfare system. For this we merge survey data of long-term unemployed individuals, containing indicators of reciprocity as a personality trait, to a unique set of register data on all unemployed coached by the same team of caseworkers and their treatments. We find that the combination of a higher negative reciprocity and a stricter regime have a negative interaction effect on search effort exerted by the unemployed. The results are stronger for males than for females. Stricter regimes may therefore drive long-term unemployed males with certain types of social preferences further away from the labor market.

Keywords: behavioral response, active labor market policy, monitoring, welfare, job search

JEL Classification: J16, J24, N44, D90, J64

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, Gerard J. and Kesternich, Iris and Müller, Gerrit and Siflinger, Bettina, Reciprocity and the Interaction between the Unemployed and the Caseworker. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12835. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3510446

Gerard J. Van den Berg (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6132 (Phone)
+32 20 444 6020 (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

Iris Kesternich

KU Leuven - Department of Economics ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Gerrit Müller

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

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