The Intergenerational Effects of Requiring Unemployment Benefit Recipients to Engage in Non-Search Activities

60 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2020

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sarah C. Dahmann

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

Anne Gielen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

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Date Written: August 24, 2020

Abstract

We use a quasi-experimental design and national administrative data to analyze the intergenerational effects of introducing non-search activity requirements for unemployment benefit recipients. The Mutual Obligations Initiative (MOI) required people aged 18–34 receiving unemployment benefits to undertake a range of non-search activities (e.g., volunteering, training) in addition to job search. The young adults (aged 23–28) we study were in early adolescence in 1999 when the MOI was introduced. Using a regression discontinuity approach, we find that those young adults whose fathers were subject to the MOI have a lower incidence of unemployment benefit receipt in comparison to those whose fathers were not. More detailed investigation suggests that completion of the mandated activities, role modeling, changes in attitudes, improved health, and greater support and stability are potential channels for this effect.

Keywords: Mutual Obligations Initiative, active labor market policy, unemployment, intergenerational treatment effects

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Dahmann, Sarah C. and Gielen, Anne, The Intergenerational Effects of Requiring Unemployment Benefit Recipients to Engage in Non-Search Activities (August 24, 2020). Life Course Centre Working Paper No. 2020-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3679679 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3679679

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Sarah C. Dahmann (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

Anne Gielen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

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