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Does a Minimum Job Search Requirement Reduce Time on Unemployment Payments? Evidence from the Jobseeker Diary in Australia

Authors
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Economics

Abstract

This study examines the impact of the Jobseeker Diary (JSD) program, designed to increase the job search effort of unemployed persons in Australia. In its large scale and its focus on work-search verification, the JSD program is unique. Applying a quasi-experimental matching method to data on unemployment spells occurring in 1997-98, the authors find that JSD participation was associated with an increased rate of exit from unemployment payment recipiency and a shorter total time spent on payments. Payment receipt duration is estimated to have fallen for about one-half of JSD participants. The largest effects of the JSD occurred for payment recipients for whom labor demand conditions were the most favorable. Cost-benefit analysis suggests a fairly large net societal gain per program participant.

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