Reciprocity and the Interaction between the Unemployed and the Caseworker

37 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020 Last revised: 16 Aug 2020

See all articles by Gerard J. Van den Berg

Gerard J. Van den Berg

University of Bristol

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 M Siflinger

Tilburg University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2020

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 unique register data on all unemployed coached by the same team of caseworkers and their treatments. We find that the combination of a high negative reciprocity and a strict regime has a negative interaction effect on search effort. The results are stronger for males than for females. Strict regimes may thus drive long-term unemployed males with certain types of social preferences further away from the labor market.

Keywords: Active Labor Market Policy, behavioral response, job search, Monitoring, welfare

JEL Classification: D91, I38, J64

Suggested Citation

Van den Berg, Gerard J. and Kesternich, Iris and Müller, Gerrit and Siflinger, Bettina M, Reciprocity and the Interaction between the Unemployed and the Caseworker (July 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15038, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3661381

Gerard J. Van den Berg (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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 M Siflinger

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

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