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The Labor Market Effects of US Reemployment Policy: Lessons from an Analysis of Four Programs during the Great Recession

We present experimental evidence on four US reemployment programs targeting unemployment insurance (UI) recipients during the Great Recession. All programs reduced UI spells, produced UI savings that exceeded program costs, and increased employment rates. The services referral program had the smallest effects, occurring because of voluntary UI exits by participants to avoid requirements. The two programs reviewing participants’ UI eligibility produced greater effects because they induced voluntary exits and disqualified participants who did not meet UI requirements. The program requiring participation in both eligibility review and job-counseling services was the most effective, suggesting that services improved participants’ job search efforts.