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General Education vs. Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition

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  • Ofer Malamud
  • Cristian Pop-Eleches

Abstract

This paper examines the relative benefits of general education and vocational training in Romania, a country which experienced major technological and institutional change during its transition from Communism to a market economy. To avoid the bias caused by non-random selection, we exploit a 1973 educational reform that shifted a large proportion of students from vocational training to general education while keeping average years of schooling unchanged. Using data from the 1992 and 2002 Romanian Censuses and household surveys from 1995-2000, we analyze the effect of this policy with a regression discontinuity design. We find that men in cohorts affected by the policy were significantly less likely to work in manual or craft-related occupations than their counterparts who were unaffected by the policy. However, in contrast to cross-sectional findings, we find no difference in labor market participation or earnings between cohorts affected and unaffected by the policy. We therefore conclude that differences in labor market returns between graduates of vocational and general schools are largely driven by selection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14155.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Publication status: published as General Education vs. Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition (with Cristian Pop-Eleches) Data Appendix Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 92, No. 1 (2010): 43-60
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14155

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Cited by:
  1. World Bank, 2010. "Education, Training and Labor Market Outcomes for Youth in Indonesia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2914, The World Bank.
  2. Malamud, Ofer & Pop-Eleches, Cristian, 2011. "School tracking and access to higher education among disadvantaged groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1538-1549.
  3. David Newhouse & Daniel Suryadarma, 2011. "The Value of Vocational Education: High School Type and Labor Market Outcomes in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 296-322, May.
  4. Andrén, Daniela, 2010. ""In every rank, or great or small, ’Tis industry supports us all": Romanians and ethnic Hungarians, and their wages, in transition," Working Papers 2010:1, Örebro University, School of Business.

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