Panel Paper: Who Benefits from Subsidized Employment? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Ballroom F (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Tania Barham1, Brian Cadena1 and Patrick Turner2, (1)University of Colorado, Boulder, (2)University of Notre Dame

This paper reports the results of a randomized evaluation of ReHire Colorado, a supported work program designed to help unemployed individuals find and maintain employment. Treatment group members are eligible for direct support in job search and retraining, including having access to a transitional job for up to 30 weeks. ReHire increased post-program annual employment by 16% and increased the post-program annual earnings by 17%. Previous analyses of similar programs find mixed results on their effectiveness in improving similar outcomes. To add to the literature, we explore heterogenous treatment effects as a potential explanation. We developed a baseline survey for ReHire applicants, which provides us with a rich set of characteristics for analysis. We conduct heterogeneity analysis along pre-program barriers to employment, employment history, cognitive ability, and psychological inventories, such as grit and the Big Five. By combining baseline survey data with administrative data, our analysis sheds light on the types of people for which this program works.