DP12224 Heterogeneous Employment Effects of Job Search Programmes: A Machine Learning Approach

Author(s): Michael C. Knaus, Michael Lechner, Anthony Strittmatter
Publication Date: August 2017
Keyword(s): active labour market policy, conditional average treatment effects, individualized treatment effects, Machine Learning
JEL(s): C21, H43, J68
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12224

We systematically investigate the effect heterogeneity of job search programmes for unemployed workers. To investigate possibly heterogeneous employment effects, we combine non-experimental causal empirical models with Lasso-type estimators. The empirical analyses are based on rich administrative data from Swiss social security records. We find considerable heterogeneities only during the first six months after the start of training. Consistent with previous results of the literature, unemployed persons with fewer employment opportunities profit more from participating in these programmes. Furthermore, we also document heterogeneous employment effects by residence status. Finally, we show the potential of easy-to-implement programme participation rules for improving average employment effects of these active labour market programmes.