Past recessions in the US have left invaluable lessons for policymakers. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the US experienced a rise in unemployment. As a result, the Department of Labor funded various projects to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of alternative reemployment services for Unemployment Insurance recipients. These WSS resources discuss evaluation results of the reemployment bonus experiments – conducted between 1984 and 1989 – in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington State.

The New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Re-Employment Demonstration Project Follow-Up Report. 1990. This report publishes findings of the New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Reemployment Demonstration Project, which used random assignment and benefit-cost analysis to identify which services under the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system were most effective in expediting the return of UI claimants to the labor force.


Pennsylvania Reemployment Bonus Demonstration Final Report. 1991. This report presents findings from an impact study that tested different reemployment bonuses on Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants’ employment outcomes and UI receipt. The study also conducted a benefit-cost analysis to determine if the bonuses were cost-effective from the perspective of society as a whole and the UI program specifically.


The Washington Reemployment Bonus Experiment Final Report. 1992. This report describes findings from an impact evaluation of the Washington Reemployment Bonus Experiment, which was designed to reduce the disincentive to find employment caused by Unemployment Insurance (UI). This experiment involved giving a financial incentive to randomly selected UI recipients who found a job and exited the UI rolls before the end of their entitled duration of benefits.