A Multilevel Analysis of the Impacts of Services Provided by the U.K. Employment Retention and Advancement Demonstration

Richard Dorsett, Philip K. Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The United Kingdom Employment Retention and Advancement(U.K. ERA) demonstration was the largest and most comprehensivesocial experiment ever conducted in the United Kingdom. It examined theextent to which a combination of postemployment advisory support andfinancial incentives could help lone parents on welfare to find sustainedemployment with prospects for advancement. ERA was experimentally testedacross more than 50 public employment service offices and, within eachoffice, individuals were randomly assigned to either a program (or treatment)group (eligible for ERA) or a control group (not eligible). Method: Thisarticle presents the results of a multilevel nonexperimental analysis thatexamines the variation in office-level impacts and attempts to understandwhat services provided in the offices tend to be associated with impacts.Result: The analysis suggests that impacts were greater in offices thatemphasized in-work advancement, support while working and financialbonuses for sustained employment, and also in those offices that assignedmore caseworkers to ERA participants. Offices that encouraged further educationhad smaller employment impacts. Conclusion: Plausible results areobtained identifying those particular implementation features that tendedto be linked to stronger impacts of ERA. The methodology employed alsoallows the identification of which services are associated with employmentand welfare receipt of control families receiving benefits under the traditionalNew Deal for Lone Parent program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-108
Number of pages46
JournalEvaluation Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • design and evaluation of programs and policies
  • economic evaluation
  • income support
  • methodological development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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