Is There a Rationale to Contact the Unemployed Right from the Start? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

Bert van Landeghem, Frank Cörvers, Andries de Grip

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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Active Labour Market Policies (ALMPs) often exclusively target towards the long-term unemployed. Although it might be more efficient to intervene earlier in order to prevent long-term unemployment rather than to cure it, the climate of austerity in Eurozone countries is spreading a tendency to further reduce the basic counselling for those who become unemployed. This study investigates the impact on employment chances of a relatively light and inexpensive intervention. In a field experiment in a public employment office in Flanders, a random selection of clients were invited for a mandatory information session in the first month of the unemployment spell, while the control group were invited after four months of unemployment. Although the average intention-to-treat effect we find is not significant, the early intervention appears to be very beneficial for those with low education.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda

JEL classifications

  • d04 - "Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation"
  • d61 - "Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis"
  • j64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
  • j68 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies: Public Policy


  • active labour market policies
  • unemployment
  • natural field experiment

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