The Illinois Unemployment Incentive Experiments

February 1987


To determine whether:

  • Incentive payments to claimants influence their job search behavior
  • Incentive payments to employers influence their hiring behavior
  • Incentive payments paid either to claimants or employers reduce the duration of insured unemployment
  • Incentive payments are an efficient means of reducing the flow of benefits from the UI Trust Fund

Data Summary

The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Experiments public use data (1984-1985) were compiled to examine whether claimant or employer incentives reduce the cost or duration of unemployment.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security conducted the experiments at selected Job Search offices from mid-1984 to mid-1985.

Eligible claimants were randomly assigned to the claimant experiment, employer experiment, or control group.
Reemployment bonuses were available to the claimant or employer (depending on the experiment) if specified employment conditions were met.

  • Data for each individual were obtained from a baseline survey of UI claimants, the Illinois
  • Department of Employment Security Benefits Information System database, the Illinois Department of Employment Security

Wage Records database, and Job Service office logs. Data were compiled into a single file containing:

  • Quarterly earnings (second quarter 1984 through third quarter 1985)
  • Base period earnings
  • Demographic characteristics
  • Unemployment date and benefit information
  • Experiment assignment and other experiment-related variables

The file contains 12,101 observations and 49 variables.

Download Contents

  • 1README_FIRST.html - download navigation document
  • Data summary
  • Illinois data set
  • - program to import SAS export/transport file into SAS
  • - program to read ASCII version of data set into SAS
  • Final report
  • Executive summary from the final report
  • Illinois public use data file documentation
  • Installation of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Final Report

The Illinois Unemployment Insurance Incentive Experiments Robert G. Spiegelman, Senior Economist
Stephen A. Woodbury, Senior Economist
February 1987
Prepared for the Department of Employment Security, State of Illinois
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