Who was my favorite student this term?
6 years ago
A long pondered but only lately realized blog about economics, politics, evaluation, econometrics, academia, college football and whatever else comes to mind.
Employees earning over $150,000 will take six days of furlough over the next six months (a 4.6% reduction per month). Those earning between $80,001 and $150,000 will take five days (a 3.8% reduction per month), those earning between $50,000 and $80,000 will take four days (a 3.1% reduction per month), and employees earning under $50,000 will take three days of furlough during the six months between May and October (a 2.3% reduction per month). The number of furlough days will be adjusted for those with 9-month appointments, so they bear a similar salary reduction over the course of the year as others with the same annual income.There are also hiring freezes, some travel cuts, contruction project postponements and so on. And the top administrators are all taking much bigger temporary salary cuts.
The goals of the Department of Labor’s Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) program were to address the reemployment needs of Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants and prevent and detect improper payments. Abt Associates conducted a study of 250,000 UI claimants to determine the impact of the low-intensity program, which involved a few hours of group engagement and a few hours of one-on-one counseling. The cost generally was less than $100 per claimant.
This REA evaluation is among the largest random assignment studies of a social program ever conducted in the United States. Nearly every REA-eligible UI claimant in the four participating states during the study intake period was randomized. Despite this highly inclusive design, the resulting sample sizes are only borderline sufficient to address some of the research questions. This appears to be because—consistent with the low intensity of the intervention—impacts are small. Abt previously conducted an implementation evaluation.
The ResultsYou can find the implementation report and the final report on Abt's web page here.
The program cut the time people spend drawing UI by an average of 1.3 weeks and increased earnings by $465 in the first year, or two percent of wages in the control group. About half of the decline in claimants represented an increase in work. The other half did not receive UI, but were not working. State responses to failure to attend required REA meetings appear to be an important factor in the drop in UI weeks. The REA program has been replaced by the Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment Program (RESEA). Our study will inform the redesign of RESEA program and the evalulation design.