Effects of welfare reform on vocational education and training
Exploiting variation in welfare reform across states and over time and using relevant comparison groups, this study estimates the effects of welfare reform on an important source of human capital acquisition among women at risk for relying on welfare: vocational education and training. The results suggest that welfare reform reduced enrollment in full-time vocational education and had no significant effects on part-time vocational education or participation in other types of work-related courses, though there appears to be considerable heterogeneity across states with respect to the strictness of educational policy and the strength of work incentives under welfare reform. In addition, we find evidence of heterogeneous effects by prior educational attainment. We find no evidence that the previously observed negative effects of welfare reform on formal education (including college enrollment), which we replicated in this study, have been offset by increases in vocational education and training.
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