What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations
We summarize the estimates from over 200 recent studies of active labor market programs. We classify the estimates by type of program and participant group, and distinguish between three different post-program time horizons. Using regression models for the estimated program effect (for studies that model the probability of employment) and for the sign and significance of the estimated effect (for all the studies in our sample) we conclude that: (1) average impacts are close to zero in the short run, but become more positive 2-3 years after completion of the program; (2) the time profile of impacts varies by type of program, with larger average gains for programs that emphasize human capital accumulation; (3) there is systematic heterogeneity across participant groups, with larger impacts for females and participants who enter from long term unemployment; (4) active labor market programs are more likely to show positive impacts in a recession.
We are extremely grateful to the editor and five referees for helpful comments on an earlier draft, and to seminar participants at IRVAPP Trento, ILO Geneva, OECD Paris, European Commission Brussels, The World Bank Washington DC, University of Oslo, ISF Oslo, MAER-Net 2015 Prague Colloquium, IFAU Uppsala. We also thank Diana Beyer, Hannah Frings and Jonas Jessen for excellent research assistance. Financial support from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Leibniz Association is gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2018. "What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations," Journal of the European Economic Association, vol 16(3), pages 894-931. citation courtesy of