Evaluation of sequences of treatments with application to active labor market policies

Summary of Working paper 2015:5

This paper proposes a new framework for analyzing the effects of sequences of treatments with duration outcomes. Applications include sequences of active labor market policies assigned at specific unemployment durations and sequences of medical treatments. We consider evaluation under unconfoundedness and propose conditions under which the survival time under a specific treatment regime can be identified. We introduce inverse probability weighting estimators for various average effects. The finite sample properties of the estimators are investigated in a simulation study. The new estimator is applied to Swedish data on participants in training, in a work practice program and in subsidized employment. One result is that enrolling an unemployed person twice in the same program or in two different programs one after the other leads to longer unemployment spells compared to only participating in a single program once.