Can Active Labor Market Policies Combat Youth Unemployment in Denmark?

Last registered on August 21, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Can Active Labor Market Policies Combat Youth Unemployment in Denmark?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001475
Initial registration date
August 21, 2016
Last updated
August 21, 2016, 12:20 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Aarhus University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Aarhus University
PI Affiliation
Aarhus University
PI Affiliation
Aarhus University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2009-11-01
End date
2010-02-14
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Active labour market policies (ALMPs) may play an important role in preventing an increase
in long-term unemployment following the Great Recession. We consider this issue for
Denmark, a country relying extensively on this instrument. We present evidence on the
effectiveness of ALMPs as a way of fighting youth unemployment using results from a
randomised controlled trial (RCT) that intensified the use of ALMPs. The intervention was
conducted after the onset of the financial crisis, and the findings are relatively unfavourable in
the sense that further intensification of an already quite intensive effort for youth did not
increase employment. In addition, the intensification of ALMPs seems to have in-creased
transitions into sickness benefits.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, et al. 2016. "Can Active Labor Market Policies Combat Youth Unemployment in Denmark?." AEA RCT Registry. August 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1475-1.0
Former Citation
, et al. 2016. "Can Active Labor Market Policies Combat Youth Unemployment in Denmark?." AEA RCT Registry. August 21. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1475/history/10298
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2009-11-01
Intervention End Date
2010-02-14

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
(Dependent variables for each outcome listed below)


Meeting Intensity

- Fraction participating in meetings


Activation Intensity

- Fraction participating in activation programs


Mentor Intensity

- Fraction who has a mentor


Effect of treatment for uneducated youths at a specific time since enrollment

- Fraction employed


Effect on education, uneducated youth

- Fraction in education


Effect on employment, educated youth

- Fraction in employment


Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The purpose of this study was to describe the active labor market tools used to help unemployed youth back into education or employment and to assess the effectiveness of the different measures. The randomized controlled trial was designed to test if further intensification of active labor market polices (ALMPs) towards youth would be successful in increasing employment for unemployed youth with a qualifying education, and whether similar programs could also help increase educational attainment for the unemployed youth without a qualifying education (i.e. could the policy achieve dual goals).

The intended treatment scheme applies to unemployed youth below 30 who became or were already unemployed in the period from November 2009 and the next 14 weeks in 14 (not randomly) selected job centers.

Members of the treatment group were divided into two groups based on their education level. Uneducated individuals were given a very intense and broad range of treatments that all aim at improving the skills of the unemployed and motivate/prepare them for undertaking ordinary education. The overall aim was to bring the unemployed closer to toward the educational system or alternatively, if their skills are deemed insufficient for undertaking further education, employment. The treatment for youth with a qualifying education was as follows; after an initial meeting with a caseworker and an information letter, the unemployed participates in meetings with a caseworker every other week for 14 weeks. Thereafter the unemployed is enrolled into a business oriented activation program (public/private wage subsidy or work practice). Treatment ends around week 32, where a meeting is held that puts the individual back into the standard regime and plan future activities.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Job centers received information from an external agent (that performs the randomization) about whether to assign individuals to the treatment or the control group. (See tables A.2 and A.3 in the paper for summary and descriptive statistics of the control and treatment groups.)
Randomization Unit
unemployed individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
(no clusters)
Sample size: planned number of observations
3380 unemployed individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment: 1683 unemployed individuals

Control: 1697 unemployed individuals
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
February 14, 2010, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
February 14, 2010, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
(same as initial)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
(same as initial)
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
(same as initial)
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Abstract
Active labour market policies (ALMPs) may play an important role in preventing an increase
in long-term unemployment following the Great Recession. We consider this issue for
Denmark, a country relying extensively on this instrument. We present evidence on the
effectiveness of ALMPs as a way of fighting youth unemployment using results from a
randomised controlled trial (RCT) that intensified the use of ALMPs. The intervention was
conducted after the onset of the financial crisis, and the findings are relatively unfavourable in
the sense that further intensification of an already quite intensive effort for youth did not
increase employment. In addition, the intensification of ALMPs seems to have in-creased
transitions into sickness benefits.
Citation
Mailbom Jonas, Michael Rosholm and Michael Svarer, Can Active Labour Market Policies Combat Youth Unemployment? IZA DP No. 7912, January 2014

Reports & Other Materials