Evaluation of a Placement Coaching Program for Recipients of Disability Insurance Benefits in Switzerland.


Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Nibelungenplatz 1, 60318, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. [Email]


Purpose During 2009‒2013 a pilot project was carried out in Zurich which aimed to increase the income of disability insurance (DI) benefit recipients in order to reduce their entitlement to DI benefits. The project consisted of placement coaching carried out by a private company that specialized in this field. It was exceptional with respect to three aspects: firstly, it did not include any formal training and/or medical aid; secondly, the coaches did not have the possibility of providing additional financial incentives or sanctioning lack of effort; and thirdly due to performance bonuses, the company not only had incentives to bring the participants into (higher paid) work, but also to keep them there for 52 weeks. This paper estimates the medium-run effects of the pilot project and assesses the net benefit from the Swiss social security system. Methods Different propensity score matching estimators are applied to administrative longitudinal data in order to construct suitable control groups. Results The estimates indicate a reduction in DI benefits and an increase in income even in the medium-run. A simple cost-benefit analysis suggests that the pilot project was a profitable investment for the social security system. Conclusion Given a healthy labor market, it seems possible to enhance the employment prospects of disabled persons with a relatively inexpensive intervention, which does not include any explicit investments in human capital.


Disability,Employment,Health economics,Rehabilitation,