Universiteit Leiden

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Research Seminar Preventing NEETs During the Great Recession

23 januari 2017
Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden

The Effects of a Mandatory Activation Program for Young Welfare Recipients

Emile Cammeraat (Leiden Law School)

We study the impact of a mandatory activation program for individuals up to 26 years of age in The Netherlands. The program, introduced in 2009, after the start of the Great Recession, aimed at preventing young NEETs (not in employment, education or training). Using a rich administrative data set for the period 1999-2012, we perform both a differences-in-differences analysis and a regression discontinuity analysis, using individuals 25-26 as a treatment group and those 27-28 years of age as a control group. We find that the reform reduced the number of NEETs on welfare, increased the number of NEETs not on welfare, and had no effect on the overall number of NEETs. Furthermore, we find no `treatment effect' on the employment rate, nor on the enrollment rate in education. Hence, the reform did not have the intended effect of reducing the number of NEETs, but instead pushed the NEETs out of welfare.