Does a Minimum Job Search Requirement Reduce Time on Unemployment Payments? Evidence from the Jobseeker Diary in Australia
This study examines the impact of the Jobseeker Diary (JSD), a program designed to increase the job search effort of unemployed persons in Australia. The JSD program is distinguished by combining a focus on work search verification with large scale implementation. 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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