Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Sensitivity of Experimental Impact Estimates: Evidence from the National JTPA Study

Contents:

Author Info

  • James J. Heckman
  • Jeffrey A. Smith

Abstract

The recent experimental evaluation of the U.S. Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program found negative effects of training on the earnings of disadvantaged male youth and no effect on the earnings of disadvantaged female youth. These findings provided justification for Congress to cut the budget of JTPA's youth component by over 80 percent. In this paper, we examine the sensitivity of the experimental impact estimates along several dimensions of construction and interpretation. We find that the statistical significance of the male youth estimates is extremely fragile and that the magnitudes of the estimates for both youth groups are sensitive to nearly all the factors we consider. In particular, accounting for experimental control group members who substitute training from other providers leads to a much more positive picture regarding the effectiveness of JTPA classroom training. Our study indicates the value of sensitivity analyses in experimental evaluations and illustrates that experimental impact estimates, like those from nonexperimental analyses, require careful interpretation if they are to provide a reliable guide to policymakers.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6105.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6105.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jul 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, Blanchflower, David and Richard Freeman, eds., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000, pp. 331-356.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6105

Note: LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. James Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Christopher Taber, 1994. "Accounting for Dropouts in Evaluations of Social Experiments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Charles Mallar & Stuart Kerachsky & Craig Thornton & David Long., 1982. "Evaluation of the Impact of the Job Corps Program: Third Follow-Up Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 2737, Mathematica Policy Research.
  3. Robert J. LaLonde, 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 149-168, Spring.
  4. Bassi, Laurie J, 1984. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs with Non-Random Selection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 36-43, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "A Critical Survey of Empirical Methods for Evaluating Active Labor Market Policies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20006, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  2. Mitali Das, 2000. "Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonparametric Models with Discrete Endogenous Regressors," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1008, Econometric Society.
  3. Hunt Allcott, 2012. "Site Selection Bias in Program Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 18373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rajeev Dehejia, 2000. "Was There a Riverside Miracle? A Framework for Evaluating Multi-Site Programs," NBER Working Papers 7844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fröhlich, Markus & Lechner, Michael, 2004. "Regional Treatment Intensity as an Instrument for the Evaluation of Labour Market Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4304, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Carolyn Heinrich & Jeffrey Wenger, 2002. "The Economic Contributions of James J. Heckman and Daniel L. McFadden," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 69-89.
  7. Dolton, Peter & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2011. "The Impact of the UK New Deal for Lone Parents on Benefit Receipt," IZA Discussion Papers 5491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6105. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.