Job search periods for welfare applicants: Evidence from a randomized experiment

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

68 Downloads (Pure)


We combine a randomized experiment with administrative data to study the effects of mandatory job search periods in the Dutch welfare system. Job search periods postpone the first welfare benefits payment and encourage applicants to start searching for jobs actively. Job search periods substantially reduce benefits take up. The decline in benefits receipt is permanent, but fully compensated by increased earnings because of higher reemployment rates. We do not find detectable effects on health and crime outcomes, nor do we observe income declines for more vulnerable applicants. Our results suggest that job search periods are an effective instrument for targeting benefits to welfare applicants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-125
Number of pages35
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Job search periods for welfare applicants: Evidence from a randomized experiment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this