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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT of Nevada’s Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) Program for new unemployment insurance claimants

This is a replication randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Nevada’s Reemployment and Eligibility Assistance (REA) program, which is a mandatory program for new Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants that provides them with an in-person review of their UI eligibility, and personalized reemployment services (e.g., job search assistance).

Grant Recipient: IMPAQ International

Term: 2018 –2021

Principal Investigators: Marios Michaelides, Ph. D., IMPAQ
Peter Mueser, Ph. D., IMPAQ

Funding: $226,792

Summary: This is a replication randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Nevada’s Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) program, which is a mandatory program for new Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants that provides them with an in-person review of their UI eligibility, and personalized reemployment services (e.g., job search assistance). REA was launched by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2005 and has since expanded to 33 states, with the Trump administration proposing to expand it nationwide. Nevada’s program is uniquely streamlined, in that participants who pass the eligibility review are then offered job-counseling services during the same meeting. This contrasts with the usual practice in other state REA programs of referring claimants to reemployment services at a separate office or organization. Nevada REA is an inexpensive program, costing approximately $230 per participant in 2018 dollars.

The program is backed by highly-promising prior evidence of effects on workforce outcomes. A high-quality RCT of Nevada’s REA program with a sample of 32,751 new UI claimants who filed a UI claim in late 2009 found that the program produced a $2,789 (18%) increase in earnings per claimant, a four percentage point increase in their employment rate, and net savings to the UI system of $715 per claimant, 18-26 months after random assignment.

This new study’s sample will comprise approximately 45,000 new UI recipients who filed a claim in 2015 and 2016. As was the case with the original RCT, the new study will capitalize on the fact that REA-eligible UI claimants were randomly assigned to either a group that received the intervention or a control group that did not. This study will measure the program’s impacts on participants’ earnings, benefits received, and employment rates using administrative UI data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. The researchers will report on outcomes in early 2018, early 2019, and early 2020. The final data collection will cover a follow-up period of approximately 3-5 years after random assignment (depending on when individual claimants were randomly assigned). The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

A plain-language summary of the study’s interim findings is available here.

Grants

Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

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