This paper investigates the effects on employment and benefit receipt of making a voluntary active labour market programme compulsory. This policy change, which targeted long‐term unemployed people over the age of 50, was piloted in a number of areas within the UK and evaluated by individual random assignment of the requirement to participate. The results show that mandating participation resulted in a sustained increase in employment and a corresponding reduction in benefit receipt. The results were driven at least in part by a deterrent effect.
Dorsett, R., Smeaton, D., & Speckesser, S. (2013). The Effect of Making a Voluntary Labour Market Programme Compulsory: Evidence from a UK Experiment. Fiscal Studies, 34(4), 467-489. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.2013.12016.x