Algorithmic Long-Term Unemployment Risk Assessment in Use: Counselors’ Perceptions and Use Practices

Global Perspectives, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2020.12908

Posted: 24 Sep 2020

See all articles by Leid Zejnilovic

Leid Zejnilovic

Nova School of Business and Economics

Susana Lavado

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics,

Íñigo Martínez de Rituerto de Troya

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management; New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics,

Samantha Sim

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics,

Andrew Bell

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics,

Date Written: June 23, 2020

Abstract

The recent surge of interest in algorithmic decision-making among scholars across disciplines is associated with its potential to resolve the challenges common to administrative decision-making in the public sector, such as greater fairness and equal treatment of each individual, among others. However, algorithmic decision-making combined with human judgment may introduce new complexities with unclear consequences. This article offers evidence that contributes to the ongoing discussion about algorithmic decision-making and governance, contextualizing it within a public employment service. In particular, we discuss the use of a decision support system that employs an algorithm to assess individual risk of becoming long-term unemployed and that informs counselors to assign interventions accordingly. We study the human interaction with algorithms in this context using the lenses of human detachment from and attachment to decision-making. Employing a mixed-method research approach, we show the complexity of enacting the potentials of the data-driven decision-making in the context of a public agency.

Keywords: human detachment and attachment to decision-making, street-level bureaucrats, algorithmic decision-making

Suggested Citation

Zejnilovic, Leid and Lavado, Susana and Martínez de Rituerto de Troya, Íñigo and Martínez de Rituerto de Troya, Íñigo and Sim, Samantha and Bell, Andrew, Algorithmic Long-Term Unemployment Risk Assessment in Use: Counselors’ Perceptions and Use Practices (June 23, 2020). Global Perspectives, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2020.12908, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3698597

Leid Zejnilovic (Contact Author)

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Campolide
Lisbon, 1099-032
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://www.novasbe.pt

Susana Lavado

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics, ( email )

Lisbon, 1099-085
Portugal

Íñigo Martínez de Rituerto de Troya

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 5015
2600 GB Delft
Netherlands

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics, ( email )

Lisbon, 1099-085
Portugal

Samantha Sim

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics, ( email )

Lisbon, 1099-085
Portugal

Andrew Bell

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics, ( email )

Lisbon, 1099-085
Portugal

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