Does eliminating benefit eligibility requirements improve unemployed job search and labour market outcomes?

Ruud Gerards*, Riccardo Welters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Benefit eligibility requirements intend to incentivize the unemployed to find work more quickly. Our results, in an Australian context, suggest that those subjected to benefit eligibility requirements, despite searching at least as hard, take longer to find employment. Moreover, they spend less time in employment in the first twelve months and, if employed, have jobs with lower wages and fewer hours compared to otherwise similar unemployed without benefit eligibility requirements. Our findings are consistent with cognitive theories that emphasize that benefit eligibility requirements externalize job search motivation and increase stress, both of which reduce employment search effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-958
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number10
Early online date23 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2022


  • benefit eligibility requirements
  • job search outcomes
  • job search stress/motivation
  • propensity score matching
  • trust experiments
  • job search stress
  • Benefit eligibility requirements
  • motivation

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