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  1. Sweotol Tacen / A Clear Token: The Anglo-Saxon Tacen and the Medieval Donor’s Model
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  3. The Land of Efacia by Laura Bentz - - Dymocks
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In many countries, reducing unemployment is among the most important policy goals. In this context, monitoring job search by the unemployed and providing job search assistance can play a crucial role. However, more and more stringent monitoring and sanctions are not a panacea. Policymakers must consider possible downsides, such as unemployed people accepting less stable and lower-paying jobs.

Job search assistance and monitoring increases job finding rates for the unemployed. Basic job search monitoring can be enough to increase the job finding rate. Job search monitoring is cheap to implement compared to other active labor market policies such as job training. Job search assistance can be more effective for job-seekers with worse job prospects or with too narrow job search criteria. Job search assistance and monitoring increases the competition for jobs, and therefore lowers the job finding rate for unemployed job-seekers who do not participate in the program.

Reinforced job search monitoring does not increase job finding. Sanctions for insufficient job search can push the unemployed to take lower quality jobs. Reinforced job search monitoring can cause some unemployed workers to give up searching and begin receiving disability benefits instead. Taken together, job search assistance and job search monitoring help the unemployed find jobs faster, and are fairly cheap to implement. However, intense job search monitoring accompanied by sanctions can push the unemployed to take lower quality jobs, or to give up searching altogether and start receiving disability benefits instead.

Another downside is that job search assistance and monitoring can help program participants find a job at the expense of non-participants. Overall, the evidence most strongly supports moderate job search monitoring. Social insurance and protection programs provide people with income to sustain their consumption when they have no income from work.

However, such income replacement schemes can discourage job search, and therefore increase unemployment. This is the reason why most unemployment insurance programs and some welfare programs require beneficiaries to search for jobs in order to continue receiving benefits.

Sweotol Tacen / A Clear Token: The Anglo-Saxon Tacen and the Medieval Donor’s Model

In some cases, job search requirements are accompanied by job search assistance, which can take many forms. Typically, counselors explain how to search for jobs, help job-seekers to write resumes, and direct them to vacancies for which they are qualified. Does job search monitoring and assistance reduce unemployment?

Does it speed up the return to work? While it may seem intuitive that job search monitoring and assistance should increase the rate at which recipients return to work, several adverse effects need to be considered. In particular, pushing workers to find a job quickly can encourage them to take low quality jobs, e.

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Furthermore, increased job search by some unemployed persons can increase competition for jobs, thereby decreasing the job finding rate of other unemployed workers. In summary, while job search monitoring and assistance can help reduce unemployment duration, it also has perverse effects that must be taken into account. If an unemployed worker is discovered not to be complying with their job search requirements, there is typically a warning, and then a sanction is imposed in the form of a cut in unemployment benefits.

Job search monitoring is more intense if job search requirements are more stringent, and it is common in these cases that the unemployment benefit agency will check more carefully that the recipient is following procedure correctly. A basic level of job search monitoring requires unemployed workers to periodically report that they are still without employment and looking for jobs. A standard level of monitoring may require the unemployed to contact about two employers per week, and report this to the unemployment agency, as in the US state of Maryland [2] , or in Switzerland [3].

Job search assistance programs explain to job-seekers how to look for jobs effectively e. Most of these programs include a blend of job search assistance and job search monitoring. By participating in a job search assistance program, the unemployed typically reveal information about their job search effort; for example, they may mention where they applied and why they think the application was unsuccessful.

Therefore, these programs are also a form of job search monitoring: participants know that they are being watched and want to demonstrate enough job search effort to avoid being imposed with benefit sanctions. Hence, when a job search assistance program is run as part of the unemployment benefit system, it is not possible to fully disentangle the impact of job search assistance per se from the impact of additional monitoring. This is why literature reviews typically put job search assistance programs in the same category as job search monitoring programs.

A meta-analysis of many job search assistance and job search monitoring programs in both Europe and North America shows that job search assistance and monitoring is a reliable way to decrease the duration of unemployment [1]. Among active labor market policies, job search assistance and monitoring reduces the duration of unemployment the most in the short run, as shown in the meta-analysis [1] , and typically does so at low cost [5]. The low cost of job search assistance and monitoring can be explained by the fact that most standard programs have limited staffing requirements; this is to be contrasted with, for example, job training programs.

To the extent that job search is effective, one would expect that unemployed persons who are required to search should find a job faster. The effects of various programs on employment are reported as a percentage of a standard deviation, which can be roughly interpreted as a percentage effect on employment under some simplifying assumptions.

In the short run, i. In the medium and longer run, job search assistance and monitoring remains effective [1]. In the long run, training is therefore more effective at increasing employment than job search assistance and monitoring, but training is also much more expensive.

Therefore, job search assistance and monitoring may be more cost-effective than training despite its lower long-term effectiveness. Overall, job search assistance and monitoring is effective in speeding up the return to work in the short and medium run, with smaller effects in the longer run. Such mandatory job search activities constitute a hassle to the unemployed and can be sufficient to persuade them to search harder by themselves.

In a US experiment, the threat of being assigned to mandatory job search assistance had a larger effect on job finding than the job search assistance itself [6]. This is explained by the fact that some job-ready workers preferred to return to work rather than incur the cost of going to job search assistance meetings. In this case, it is not the job search assistance per se that helps, but rather the threat of it.

There is limited evidence on the impact of job search assistance per se on job finding. Specifically, this French job search assistance program reduced the number of job-seekers per counselor from to 40, which allowed for weekly instead of monthly meetings with the counselor. The enhanced job search assistance program targeted job-seekers at risk of long-term unemployment.

Compared to the regular job search assistance program, this enhanced version resulted in more training about job search methods, including how to use the internet and target specific companies. The enhanced job search assistance program was delivered by both private and public providers, and the experiment showed that public providers were much more effective.

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The public program increased exits to employment among participants by However, the fact that this program was mandatory as part of unemployment benefit receipt means that one cannot fully disentangle its effect from the impact of increased job search monitoring. In a British study, unemployed job-seekers were recruited into a job search assistance program that was delivered by researchers completely independently from the unemployment insurance agency [8].

The job search assistance delivered individualized recommendations using a computer. The job search assistance intervention did not, however, have any significant impact on job finding. This may be due to the fact that job finding was uncommon and the study only had a small number of participants , so it was difficult to find a clear effect on job finding.

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Overall, low-cost non-mandatory computer-assisted job recommendations have promising effects on job search and interview outcomes. While more evidence is needed on the usefulness of job search assistance alone, multiple studies have shown that job search monitoring does increase job finding [1]. In an experiment that occurred in the state of Washington in the late s, unemployed job-seekers were told to search for jobs, but were not required to report any job search activity and did not receive any job search assistance.

They were just told to inform the unemployment insurance office when they have found a job.

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This lack of job search monitoring resulted in a 3. Another RCT sharpens the results regarding the impact of different levels of job search monitoring on the duration of unemployment [2]. The experiment was implemented in the US state of Maryland in The standard job search requirement in the state was to contact two employers per week, and report these contacts to the unemployment insurance office. In one of the treatments, unemployed job-seekers did not have to report how many employers they had contacted, but still had to report that they were unemployed each month.

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This lower level of reporting did not significantly increase the duration of unemployment compared to the standard requirement of reporting two employment contacts per week. The Washington experiment mentioned above shows that only having to report after finding a job is not likely to be a sufficient level of job search monitoring, and contributes to increasing unemployment duration.

On the other hand, just having to regularly report being unemployed, without reporting any specific job search efforts, is enough to stimulate job finding [2]. However, job search monitoring does not always increase job finding, especially when its intensity is raised beyond the standard level of monitoring. The Maryland RCT mentioned above also experimented with strengthened job search requirements and monitoring. In one of the treatments, job search requirements were increased from the typical two employer contacts a week to four contacts a week.

In another treatment job seekers had to provide contact information for the standard two weekly employer contacts, so that their case worker could verify job applications. These two treatments resulted in a decrease in the duration of insured unemployment, but no increase in job finding [2]. Why does reinforced job search monitoring fail to increase job finding?

First, increasing monitoring does not work if it causes job-seekers to shift away from informal to formal job search channels, rather than increasing overall job search. Formal job search channels, such as applying for a job, are those that are subject to monitoring. By contrast, informal job search channels, such as asking family and friends about potential job leads, do not count as job search activities for the purpose of job search monitoring.

Therefore, tightening monitoring standards can lead the unemployed to use more formal job search channels at the expense of informal job search channels. Such substitution between search channels has been shown to occur among job-seekers with good job prospects in the Netherlands, leading to zero effect of increased monitoring on job finding [9]. While the effect was generally insignificant, increased job search counseling and monitoring had more positive effects for older job-seekers though. Older job-seekers had worse job prospects and were more likely to use formal channels to begin with; therefore, there was little substitution away from informal job channels, and the strengthened counseling and monitoring likely increased the effectiveness of formal job search for this group.

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