IZA DP No. 3092: Does the Order and Timing of Active Labor Market Programs Matter?
This paper extends the traditional focus of active labor market policy evaluation from a static comparison of participation in a program versus nonparticipation (or participation in another program) to the evaluation of the effects of program sequences, i.e. multiple participation or timing of such programs. We use a dynamic evaluation framework that explicitly allows for dynamic selection into different stages of such sequences based on past intermediate outcomes to analyze multiple programs, the timing of programs, and the order of programs. The analysis is based on exceptionally comprehensive data on the Austrian labor force. Our findings suggest that (i) active job search programs are more effective after a qualification program compared to the reverse order, that (ii) multiple participations in qualification measures dominates single participation, and that (iii) the effectiveness of specific labor market programs deteriorates the later they start during an unemployment spell.