Corresponding author: Michael Lechner, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen, Varnbüelstr. 14, CH-9000, Switzerland. Email: Michael.Lechner@unisg.ch.
A Caseworker Like Me – Does The Similarity Between The Unemployed and Their Caseworkers Increase Job Placements?*
Article first published online: 16 NOV 2010
© The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2010
The Economic Journal
Volume 120, Issue 549, pages 1430–1459, December 2010
How to Cite
Behncke, S., Frölich, M. and Lechner, M. (2010), A Caseworker Like Me – Does The Similarity Between The Unemployed and Their Caseworkers Increase Job Placements?. The Economic Journal, 120: 1430–1459. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02382.x
Stefanie Behncke was visiting the Centre for Health Economics in York while a substantial part of this article was written. She acknowledges financial support by the Swiss National Science Foundation. In particular, we are very grateful to Heidi Steiger for helping us with the data and to Stephan Hammer for the fruitful co-operation in this project. We thank the research fund of the Swiss unemployment insurance system for providing the administrative database as well as substantial financial support for this project. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Swiss National Bank. The usual disclaimer applies.
- Issue published online: 16 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 16 NOV 2010
- Submitted: 30 July 2008 Accepted: 18 January 2010
This article examines whether the chances of job placements improve if the unemployed are counselled by caseworkers who belong to the same social group, defined by gender, age, education and nationality. Based on an unusually informative dataset, which links Swiss unemployed to their caseworkers, we find positive employment effects of about 3 percentage points if the caseworker and his unemployed client belong to the same social group. Coincidence in a single characteristic, e.g., same gender of caseworker and unemployed, does not lead to detectable effects on employment. These results, obtained by statistical matching methods, are confirmed by several robustness checks.