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Learning but Not Earning? The Value of Job Corps Training for Hispanic Youths

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Author Info

  • Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso

    ()
    (Binghamton University, New York)

  • Gonzalez, Arturo

    ()
    (Ernst & Young)

  • Neumann, Todd C.

    ()
    (University of California, Merced)

Abstract

The National Job Corps Study (NJCS) was a four-year longitudinal social experiment that randomized over 15,000 Job Corps eligible applicants into treatment and control groups. Experimental estimators revealed a positive impact of Job Corps training in the weekly earnings of white and black youths 48 months after randomization, but not for Hispanic youths. This study considers explanations for why Job Corps does not increase the earnings of Hispanics in the NJCS. First, we show that the randomization in the NJCS did not create comparable treatment and control groups for Hispanics. We then apply alternative estimators that adjust for systematic differences in observable and time-invariant characteristics, but still find statistically insignificant effects of Job Corps 48 months after randomization. Finally, we estimate the "net treatment effect" controlling for post-treatment experience to advance an explanation for why Job Corps fails to benefit Hispanics 48 months after randomization: non-treated Hispanics earn a significant amount of labor market experience during the study compared to all other groups. This higher level of experience translates into higher earnings that Hispanic treated individuals are not able to overcome by the end of the study, despite having higher earnings growth in the 48-month period of any group.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1638.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Inquiry, 2010, 48 (3), 651-667
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1638

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Related research

Keywords: racial earnings gap; job training programs; Job Corps; Hispanic earnings gap;

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References

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  1. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Alexey Gorislavsky, 2007. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 761-783, November.
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  8. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey A, 1999. "The Pre-programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme. Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 313-48, July.
  9. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2004. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences across Black, Mexican, and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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  11. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2000. "The Long-Term Gains from GAIN: A Re-Analysis of the Impacts of the California GAIN Program," NBER Working Papers 8007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jinyong Hahn & Keisuke Hirano & Dean Karlan, 2009. "Adaptive Experimental Design Using the Propensity Score," Working Papers 969, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso & Gonzalez, Arturo & Neumann, Todd C., 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Length of Exposure to a Training Program: The Case of Job Corps," IZA Discussion Papers 2846, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, 2007. "Identification and Estimation of Casual Mechanisms and Net Effects of a Treatment," Working Papers 0706, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  4. Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2009. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Mechanisms and Net Effects of a Treatment under Unconfoundedness," IZA Discussion Papers 4237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Arturo Gonzalez & Todd C. Neumann, 2009. "Estimating the Effects of Lenght of Exposure to Traning Program: The Case of Job Corps," Working Papers 2010-3, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

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