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The Value of Vocational Education: High School Type and Labor Market Outcomes in Indonesia

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  • David Newhouse
  • Daniel Suryadarma

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the type of senior high school attended by Indonesian youth and their subsequent labor market outcomes. This topic is timely in light of a recent policy shift that aims to dramatically expand vocational education. The analysis controls for an unusually rich set of predetermined characteristics, and exploits longitudinal data spanning fourteen years to separately identify cohort and age effects. There are four main findings. First, the estimated wage premium for vocational graduates, relative to general graduates, is greater for women than men. Second, the returns to public vocational school for men have plummeted for the most recent cohort, and male vocational graduates now face a large wage penalty. Third, the generally favorable outcomes of public school graduates can be partly explained by non-random sorting of students with higher test scores and better-educated parents into public schools. Finally, these peer effects appear to be particularly important for students with above-average test scores, as men with high scores earn a surprisingly small premium from graduating from vocational or private general school. These small returns for high-scoring men, as well as the dramatic fall in the earnings premium for all male vocational graduates, raise important concerns about the current expansion of public vocational education and the relevance of the male vocational curriculum in an increasingly service-oriented economy. Copyright , Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 296-322

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:25:y:2011:i:2:p:296-322

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  1. Godius Kahyarara & Francis Teal, 2008. "The returns to vocational training and academic education: Evidence from Tanzania," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Tobias, J.L., 2000. "Are Return to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability-Earnings Relationship," Papers 00-01-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  3. Shoshana Neuman & Adrian Ziderman, 1991. "Vocational Schooling, Occupational Matching, and Labor Market Earnings in Israel," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 256-281.
  4. Moenjak, Thammarak & Worswick, Christopher, 2003. "Vocational education in Thailand: a study of choice and returns," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 99-107, February.
  5. Newhouse, David & Beegle, Kathleen, 2005. "The effect of school type on academic achievement : evidence from Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3604, The World Bank.
  6. Imbens, Guido W. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 3640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Michael Lechner, 2000. "An Evaluation of Public-Sector-Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 347-375.
  8. Neuman, Shoshana & Ziderman, Adrian, 1991. "Vocational schooling, occupational matching, and labor market earnings in Israel," Policy Research Working Paper Series 683, The World Bank.
  9. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2008. "General Education vs. Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition," Working Papers 0807, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  11. Francis Teal & Godius Kahyarara, 2008. "The returns to vocational training and academic education: Evidence from Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Paul Bennell, 1996. "General versus vocational secondary education in developing countries: A review of the rates of return evidence," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 230-247.
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Cited by:
  1. Cho, Yoon Y. & Kalomba, Davie & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq & Orozco, Victor, 2013. "Gender Differences in the Effects of Vocational Training: Constraints on Women and Drop-Out Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 7408, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Eichhorst, Werner & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "A Roadmap to Vocational Education and Training Systems Around the World," IZA Discussion Papers 7110, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pugatch, Todd, 2012. "Safety Valve or Sinkhole? Vocational Schooling in South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 7015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Monazza Aslam & Shenila Rawal, 2013. "Preparing Women of Substance? Education, Training, and Labor Market Outcomes for Women in Pakistan," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 93-128, September.
  5. World Bank, 2010. "Education, Training and Labor Market Outcomes for Youth in Indonesia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2914, The World Bank.

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