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Evaluating job training in two Chinese cities

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  • Benu Bidani
  • Niels-Hugo Blunch
  • Chor-Ching Goh
  • Christopher O'Leary

Abstract

Recent years have seen a surge in work on the impacts of active labor market programs for numerous countries. However, little evidence has been presented on the effectiveness of such programs in China. Recent economic reforms, associated with massive lay-offs, and the accompanying public retraining programs make China fertile ground for rigorous impact evaluations. This study uses survey data from the two large industrial cities Shenyang and Wuhan, covering the period 1998 to 2000, to evaluate retraining programs for over 2000 workers two years after they had been observed as displaced and unemployed. Using a comparison group design, this study is, to our knowledge, the first evaluation of its kind in China. The evidence suggests that retraining helped workers find jobs in Wuhan, but had little effect in Shenyang. The study raises questions about the overall effectiveness of retraining expenditures, and it offers some directions for policy-makers about future interventions to help laid-off workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 77-94

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:7:y:2009:i:1:p:77-94

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Related research

Keywords: active labor market programs; job training; impact evaluation; propensity score matching; China;

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References

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  1. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  2. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  3. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  4. Fretwell, David H. & Benus, Jacob & O'Leary, Christopher J., 1999. "Evaluating the impact of active labor programs : results of cross country studies in Europe and Central Asia," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20131, The World Bank.
  5. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  6. DiPrete, Thomas A. & Gangl, Markus, 2004. "Assessing bias in the estimation of causal effects: Rosenbaum bounds on matching estimators and instrumental variables estimation with imperfect instruments," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2004-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  7. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  8. Dar, Amit & Gill, Indermit S, 1998. "Evaluating Retraining Programs in OECD Countries: Lessons Learned," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 79-101, February.
  9. Emanuela Galasso & Martin Ravallion & Agustin Salvia, 2004. "Assisting the transition from workfare to work: A randomized experiment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(1), pages 128-142, October.
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Cited by:
  1. World Bank, 2009. "China - From Poor Areas to Poor People : China’s Evolving Poverty Reduction Agenda - An Assessment of Poverty and Inequality in China," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3033, The World Bank.
  2. World Bank, 2009. "China - From Poor Areas to Poor People : China’s Evolving Poverty Reduction Agenda - An Assessment of Poverty and Inequality in China," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3031, The World Bank.
  3. Gordon Betcherman & Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2008. "The limited job prospects of displaced workers: evidence from two cities in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 187-207, September.

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