Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 783–812 | Cite as

Kids or courses? Gender differences in the effects of active labor market policies

  • Michael Lechner
  • Stephan Wiehler
Original Paper


We investigate active labor market programs in Austria. We find only small effects, if any, for most of the programs. However, the programs may have unintended consequences for women. In particular for younger women, a key effect of the programs and one reason for the male–female effect differential that is observed in the literature is to reduce or postpone pregnancies and to increase their attachment to the labor force. Furthermore, the variables capturing pregnancies and times of parental leave play a key role in removing selection bias.


Active labor market policy Matching estimation Program evaluation Panel data 

JEL Classification




Financial support by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economics and Labor (BMWA) and by the European Commission is gratefully acknowledged. We benefited from many helpful comments from Johannes Schweighofer, Gottfried Wetzel (both BMWA), and from Helmut Mahringer (Austrian Institute of Economic Research). Furthermore, three anonymous referees helped to improve a previous version of the paper considerably. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research (SEW)University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

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