*Names in bold indicate Presenter
With respect to individual socioeconomic characteristics, our results indicate that ERA was especially effective at reducing welfare receipt and increasing employment for lone parents with O- and A-level qualifications, those living in more deprived areas, and those aged 30 or over. With respect to office characteristics, the analysis reveals that several such characteristics were found to affect the control environment (outcomes of control group members under the standard UK New Deal for Lone Parents program). Offices with higher adviser caseloads had control group lone parents that spent more months on welfare and fewer months employed over the five-year follow-up period. Where offices prioritized help in finding education courses, control group individuals had more months on welfare and fewer months employed. Finally, where offices emphasized in-work advancement, control group individuals had more months employed.
Most importantly, we find that several office characteristics affected the impacts of the ERA demonstration on lone parents. ERA’s main design feature was to extend the NDLP program by providing help after employment was obtained. We have estimated that such retention services can lead to additional impacts beyond those obtained under the New Deal program and can help individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency (by spending fewer months on welfare and more months employed). Offices that assigned more caseworkers to ERA participants tended to be more successful in reducing time spent on welfare. Offices that emphasized in-work advancement and in-work support more generally tended to deliver stronger effects of ERA, as did those offices where awareness levels of the employment retention bonus were higher. On the other hand, some of the services examined (particularly those that emphasize human capital investment rather than in-work advancement) were not found to reduce the impact of ERA on time employed but did not affect the impact of ERA on time spent on welfare.