Grant Recipient: Actus Policy Research
Term: 2023 – 2029
Principal Investigators: Marios Michaelides, Ph.D., Actus Policy Research
Peter Mueser, Ph.D., Actus Policy Research
Summary: In 2005, the Department of Labor (DOL) established the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) Initiative, which required unemployment insurance (UI) recipients to undergo an eligibility review to confirm they were actively searching for work and to obtain information about available services. Two subsequent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have demonstrated that the version of the REA program implemented in Nevada was particularly effective — producing increases in wage earnings of 15% to 18% over follow-up periods ranging from 18 to 36 months after random assignment as well as net savings for the state’s UI system. Additional research suggested that the Nevada REA program’s impacts were due to its coupling of the mandatory eligibility review with reemployment services, including: (i) a review of the claimant’s profile on the state’s job exchange; ii) provision of customized labor market information; (iii) development of an individual reemployment plan; (iv) direct job referrals; and (v) referrals to additional services.
In an effort to replicate Nevada’s success in other states, DOL renamed the program Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) in 2015 and encouraged states to add reemployment services to their existing REA programs. However, to date, there have been no additional RCT studies to assess the effectiveness of the program as implemented in other states.
Under this project, researchers will conduct an RCT of Colorado’s RESEA program to determine whether the impacts found in Nevada replicate in Colorado. The study will randomize approximately 30,000 RESEA-eligible claimants, of whom roughly half will be assigned to the RESEA program and the other half to the control group. The RCT will measure the effect of the Colorado RESEA program on (i) total earnings in the 18-month period following program entry; and (ii) the total benefit amount collected before UI exit in order to determine whether the program produced net savings for the state. If effects are found at the 18-month follow-up, the study will be extended to measure earnings through 45 months following program entry.
The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.