Short-term training programs for immigrants: do effects differ from natives and why?

University of Magdeburg & ZEW, Mannheim
ZEW - Zentrum f�r Europ�ische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, ZEW Discussion Papers 01/2010;
Source: RePEc


The aim of this paper is to analyse the role of unobserved heterogeneity in structural discrete choice models of labour supply for the evaluation of tax-reforms. Within this framework, unobserved heterogeneity has been estimated either parametrically or nonparametrically through random co- efficient models. Nevertheless, the estimation of such models by means of standard, gradient-based methods is often difficult, in particular if the number of random parameters is high. Given the relative big set of pa- rameters that enter in labour supply models, many researchers have to reduce the role of unobserved heterogeneity by specifying only a small set of random coefficients. However, this simplification affects the estimated labour supply elasticities, which then might hardly change when unob- served heterogeneity is considered in the model. In this paper, we present a new estimation method based on an EM algorithm that allows us to fully consider the effect of unobserved heterogeneity nonparametrically. Results show that labour supply elasticities do change significantly when the full set of coefficients is assumed to be random. Moreover, we analyse the behavioural effects of the introduction of a working-tax credit scheme in the Italian tax-benefit system and show that the magnitude of labour supply reactions and post-reform income distribution do change signifi- cantly when unobserved heterogeneity is fully considered.

Download full-text


Available from: Alisher Aldashev, Apr 10, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: How does labour market policy affect welfare recipients and long-term unemployed people? We investigate whether job search assistance (JSA) helps disadvantaged individuals to find jobs and whether courses or individual counselling is more successful in reaching this goal. To evaluate individual employment effects, we apply a quasi-experimental design and construct suitable comparison groups using propensity score matching methods. We compare participants to nonparticipants as well as participants of both schemes directly. Our article benefits from access to rich administrative data from the German Federal Employment Agency. When comparing participants to nonparticipants, results suggest that the individual JSA does not affect participants’ employment prospects at all and that the course JSA even decreased their employment chances. At the same time, differences in these effects can be ascribed to programme design differences and to differences in the groups of participants. Therefore, we compare both programmes directly to each other, that is, we use the other programme participants as a comparison group, respectively. We found some evidence that individual JSA performs better than course JSA.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Applied Economics