Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

Why do tougher caseworkers increase employment? : The role of programme assignment as a causal mechanism

Huber , Martin ; Lechner, Michael ; Mellace, Giovanni

In: Review of economics and statistics, 2017, vol. 99, no. 1, p. 180-183

Previous research found that less accommodating caseworkers are more success- ful in placing unemployed workers into employment. This paper explores the causal mechanisms behind this result using semiparametric mediation analysis. Analysing rich linked jobseeker-caseworker data for Switzerland, we find that the positive employment effects of less accommodating caseworkers are not driven by a ... More

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    Summary
    Previous research found that less accommodating caseworkers are more success- ful in placing unemployed workers into employment. This paper explores the causal mechanisms behind this result using semiparametric mediation analysis. Analysing rich linked jobseeker-caseworker data for Switzerland, we find that the positive employment effects of less accommodating caseworkers are not driven by a particularly effective mix of labour market programmes, but rather by other dimensions of the counselling process, possibly including threat effects of sanctions and pressure to accept jobs.