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Evaluation of the Effects of the Graduate Practice in Slovakia: Comparison of Results of Counterfactual Methods

Lucia Švábová, Katarína Kramárová and Marek Ďurica

Central European Business Review, 2021, vol. 2021, issue 4, 1-31

Abstract: Graduate Practice is in Slovakia one of the measures of active labour market policy aimed at decreasing the unemployment rate of young graduates. It is one of the most frequently used interventions by young jobseekers under the age of 26; similar measures are used in other European Union (EU) member states. The specific objective of this intervention is to provide young jobseekers to gain the first contact with the labour market, first work experience and work habits that may be attractive to potential employers. The intervention is financed from the European Social Fund (within the Operational Program - Human Resources and the priority axis - Youth Employment Initiative) and the state budget. This fact requires ad 1) to evaluate the eligibility of drawing these resources and ad 2) to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of resources in terms of employability and sustainability of participants of the intervention in the labour market, the second of which is the primary objective of this study. The European Commission has increasingly required the member states of the EU to carry out impact evaluations of funded interventions and to develop evidence-based policies that will implement the results of such evaluations. The aim of this study is, therefore, to evaluate and review the effects of the Graduate Practice on the employability of young jobseekers in conditions of Slovakia. This evaluation is carried out using a counterfactual approach by comparing the results of treated and non-treated individuals by applying the three most used methods: regression adjustment, instrumental variable, and propensity score matching method. The results indicate significant effects of the Graduate Practice on the employability of young jobseekers and their sustainability in employment. The results of the evaluation are valuable mainly for policymakers, i.e. in setting the rules of the intervention and its eligibility to make the measure more effective or potentially in preparing other measures aimed at youth unemployment. Implications for Central European audience: The findings of the evaluation may inspire policymakers in other countries than Slovakia to introduce similar or new programs for the youth unemployed. The results of this study may also be used for an international comparison of the effectiveness of interventions if a similar program for youth unemployed operates in another country, which may be appropriate mainly from the point of view of being a program(s) co-financed by the European Social Fund.

Keywords: counterfactual evaluation; Graduate practice; active labour market policy; intervention (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C54 J08 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.18267/j.cebr.266

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