Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Job-Search Periods for Welfare Applicants: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Author(s): Jonneke Bolhaar, Nadine Ketel and Bas van der Klaauw

Publication Date: March 2016

Keyword(s): active labor-market policies, job search, randomized experiment and welfare-to-work

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics

Abstract: This paper studies mandatory job-search periods for welfare applicants. During this period the benefits application is put on hold and the applicant is obliged to make job applications. We combine a randomized experiment with detailed administrative data to investigate the effects of imposing a job-search period. We find strong and persistent effects on the probability to collect welfare benefits. The reduced benefits are fully compensated by increased earnings from work. Furthermore, we do not find evidence of adverse consequences for the most vulnerable applicants. Our results therefore suggest that a job-search period is an effective instrument for targeting welfare-benefits applicants.

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Bibliographic Reference

Bolhaar, J, Ketel, N and van der Klaauw, B. 2016. 'Job-Search Periods for Welfare Applicants: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.