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Johan VIKSTROM (Uppsala University) – "Caseworkers – do they matter, why, and for whom? Exploring caseworker value-added using random variation"
Time: 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
Date: 21 th of June 2019 Exceptionally Friday
Place: Room 3001
Johan VIKSTROM (Uppsala University) – “Caseworkers – do they matter, why, and for whom? Exploring caseworker value-added using random variation”
Abstract: This paper studies the importance of caseworkers for job seeker outcomes. To break the sorting of caseworkers and job seekers, we exploit that many local offices in Sweden assign job seekers to caseworkers based on their date-of-birth. Since date-of-birth is unrelated to both observed and unobserved characteristics, this creates as-if random variation. By merging caseworker records to various administrative records, we create unique data on caseworkers. The data on caseworkers includes cognitive and non-cognitive ability, previous occupations and unemployment experience. One finding is that caseworkers matter a lot, with substantial differences in value-added across caseworkers. But, observed caseworker characteristics, such as cognitive and non-cognitive ability, explain little of this variation. Instead, caseworker-strategies are important. In particular, caseworkers who conduct many meetings, and caseworkers who tailor labor market programs to the most appropriate workers have better outcomes. These strategies matter the most for job seekers who are less attached to the labor market. When we examine who becomes a caseworker, we see that caseworkers have worse cognitive ability than people in similar public occupations, but more similar non-cognitive abilities.
Laurent DAVEZIES (Laboratoire de Microéconométrie-CREST)
Benoît SCHMUTZ (Laboratoire de Microéconométrie-CREST)
Arne UHLENDORFF (Laboratoire de Microéconométrie-CREST)