A Caseworker Like Me - Does the Similarity between the Unemployed and their Caseworkers Increase Job Placements?

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IZA Research Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 19.05.2009, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Michael Lechner (University of St. Gallen)


This paper examines whether the chances of job placements improve if unemployed persons are counselled by caseworkers who belong to the same social group, defined by gender, age, edu-cation, and nationality. Based on an unusually informative dataset, which links Swiss unem-ployed 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 sin-gle 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.

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