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The effectiveness of vocational training policies: methods for an impact evaluation

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    Abstract

    Net impact evaluation in a non-experimental context is discussed, addressing the case of vocational training policies provided by Piedmont Region, in the North-West Italy. Impact evaluation plays a major role in determining the effectiveness of public policies, being the net effect a crucial element in policy planning. Accordingly, the spreading of impact evaluation and its use in the ESF programming is particularly urgent in the current socio-economic context, which is characterized by scarce financial resources claiming for increasing effectiveness and efficiency. In particular, evaluation is useful for investment programs in vocational training policies, which are mostly financed through the ESF and play a crucial role in the fight against unemployment and social exclusion. The paper presents an impact assessment on vocational training courses provided by Piedmont Region, discussing its methodological viability and proposing a quasi-experimental evaluation strategy on the employment outcomes of the trainees. The authors discuss the operational choices and the implementation of the assessment, stating the advantages and disadvantages. Particular attention is devoted to the identification of the control sample. Gross and net impact evaluation strategies are explained, discussing the selection bias problem. In conclusion, the authors explain the major lessons learned in both the methods and the process of evaluating training effectiveness.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) in its series CERIS Working Paper with number 201314.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:201314

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    Keywords: impact evaluation; regional policies; vocational training;

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    1. Stephen H. Bell & Larry l. Orr & John D. Blomquist & Glen G. Cain, 1995. "Program Applicants as a Comparison Group in Evaluating Training Programs: Theory and a Test," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pacg.
    2. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2010. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Erich Battistin & Enrico Rettore, 2002. "Testing for programme effects in a regression discontinuity design with imperfect compliance," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(1), pages 39-57.
    4. R. Bellio & E. Gori, 2003. "Impact evaluation of job training programmes: Selection bias in multilevel models," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(8), pages 893-907.
    5. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daniel Friedlander & David H. Greenberg & Philip K. Robins, 1997. "Evaluating Government Training Programs for the Economically Disadvantaged," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1809-1855, December.
    7. Kluve, Jochen, 2010. "The effectiveness of European active labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 904-918, December.
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