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Mentoring, Educational Services, and Economic Incentives: Longer-Term Evidence on Risky Behaviors from a Randomized Trial

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  • Rodríguez-Planas, Núria

    ()
    (Queens College, CUNY)

Abstract

This paper is the first to use a randomized trial in the US to analyze the short- and long-term impacts of an after-school program that offered disadvantaged high-school youth: mentoring, educational services, and financial rewards to attend program activities, complete high-school and enroll in post-secondary education on youths' engagement in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, criminal activity, and teenage childbearing. Outcomes were measured at three different points in time, when youths were in their late-teens, and when they were in their early- and their late-twenties. Overall the program was unsuccessful at reducing risky behaviors. Heterogeneity matters in that perverse effects are concentrated among certain subgroups, such as males, older youths, and youths from sites where youths received higher amount of stipends. We claim that this evidence is consistent with different models of youths’ behavioral response to economic incentives. In addition, beneficial effects found in those sites in which QOP youths represented a large fraction of the entering class of 9th graders provides hope for these type of programs when operated in small communities and supports the hypothesis of peer effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4968.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4968

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Keywords: teen childbearing and substance abuse; criminal activity; after-school program; short-; medium- and long-term effects; behavioral models; peer effects;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. James Heckman & Tim Kautz, 2013. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition," Working Papers 2013-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  2. Uri Gneezy & Stephan Meier & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "When and Why Incentives (Don't) Work to Modify Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 191-210, Fall.

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