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Counseling Welfare Recipients in Hauts de Seine, France
Last registered on August 08, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Counseling Welfare Recipients in Hauts de Seine, France
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000471
Initial registration date
August 08, 2015
Last updated
August 08, 2015 5:06 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
CREST
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Crest-Insee
PI Affiliation
Paris School of Economics, Crest-Insee and JPAL
PI Affiliation
Dares and Crest-Insee
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2006-03-01
End date
2011-03-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Job-search counseling is a potentially desirable labor market policy because it reduces market frictions, but it is strongly work-intensive as it requires repeated individual contact between job-seeker and case worker. Although it has become widely used, little is known about its cost-efficiency. This paper uses an experiment where individuals who have been on welfare for more than two years in a French district were randomly allocated to a counseling firm. We show that the policy causal impact is to increase employment and decrease the amounts of welfare transfers paid to the beneficiaries. However, the effects are small relative to the cost charged by the providing firm. Therefore, the net public cost, accounting for gains in welfare transfer payment, remains larger than reasonable social values that can be attached to having a former welfare recipient on a job. Although this is true for the policy as a whole, as implemented in this experiment, there is significant heterogeneity. In particular, it is more efficient and more cost-effective on a population of limited seniority on welfare.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Crepon, Bruno et al. 2015. "Counseling Welfare Recipients in Hauts de Seine, France." AEA RCT Registry. August 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.471-1.0.
Former Citation
Crepon, Bruno et al. 2015. "Counseling Welfare Recipients in Hauts de Seine, France." AEA RCT Registry. August 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/471/history/4935.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Job-seekers in the “treatment group” had their names given to a private counseling firm, who would contact them to offer their services. The job counseling provided by this firm consisted of regular meetings with an individual advisor who would work with people on their confidence, advise on any social problems they might be having, and help them look for work or vocational trainings to increase their skills. These meetings took place at the offices of the private firm.

First wave:
(welfare recipients fulfilling the seniority requirement between December 2005 and February 2006)
11,222 individuals were randomly assigned to the treatment group, and the rest (3,758) to the control group.

Second wave:
(welfare recipients who became eligible between March and May 2006)
1,176 individuals were randomly affected to the treatment group, and 395 to the control group.

Third wave:
(those becoming eligible between the second wave and October 2006)
838 persons were added to the treatment group, and 277 to the control group.
Intervention Start Date
2006-03-01
Intervention End Date
2007-10-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The employment status of the beneficiary; the welfare transfer received by the beneficiary, paid on the public budget; and the price paid, also on the public budget, to the private provider of the policy.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Researchers sought to test whether intensive job-counseling with a private provider is an effective means of increasing employment rates even for a population with such a low attachment to the labor market. All welfare recipients in the district with at least two years of seniority into the welfare system at the moment of randomization were eligible. Each eligible individual had a 75% chance of being affected to the treatment group, and 25% chance to the control group. Data was collected from administrative records for the 17,666 people in the sample group, which provides monthly information on their employment status and whether or not they are receiving government benefits.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
individual (job seeker)
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
First wave: welfare recipients fulfilling the seniority requirement between December 2005 and February 2006.
Second wave: welfare recipients who became eligible between March and May 2006.
Third wave: those becoming eligible between the second wave and October 2006.
Sample size: planned number of observations
17,666 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment group: 13,236 individuals, and
Control group: 4,430 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
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers