Abstract

Previous research found that less accommodating caseworkers are more successful in placing unemployed workers into employment. This paper explores the causal mechanisms behind this result using semi-parametric mediation analysis. Analyzing rich linked job seeker-caseworker data for Switzerland, we find that the positive employment effects of less accommodating caseworkers are not driven by a particularly effective mix of labor market programs but, rather, by other dimensions of the counseling process, possibly including threats of sanctions and pressure to accept jobs.

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