Project Description

Encouraging the unemployed into sustained work

This project used data collected from random assignment evaluations of the “Employment Retention and Advancement” (ERA) programmes carried out in Texas and the UK. In both cases, ERA offered temporary earnings supplements and caseworker support to encourage full-time employment among welfare recipients. This study looked beyond overall impacts to assess the separate effects on employment entry and employment retention. This is motivated by the fact that increased retention helps individuals to gain valuable work experience, acquire new skills, increase their earnings, enjoy greater employment stability and so on. The study also explored the reasons behind the different effect seen in Texas and the UK.


Dorsett, R. (2014) The effect of temporary in-work support on employment retention: evidence from a field experiment.  Labour Economics 31: 61-71.  PDF – gated

Dorsett, R., Hendra, R. and Robins, P. Promoting Employment Retention for Low Wage Workers:   Evidence from the Texas Employment Retention and Advancement Evaluation. NIESR discussion paper PDF

Dorsett, R. (2013) Can temporary in-work support help the long-term unemployed enter sustained work?    VoxEU blog post  PDF


Economic and Social Research Council


MDRC, University of Miami