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Evaluating Retraining Programs in OECD Countries: Lessons Learned

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  • Dar, Amit
  • Gill, Indermit S

Abstract

Are retraining programs for the unemployed more effective than job search assistance? Governments of the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have considerable experience with retraining programs in a variety of industrial settings. Evaluations of these programs show that the results are disappointing, however. This article discusses the factors associated with retraining programs for two types of workers: those laid off en masse and the long-term unemployed. Evaluations indicate poor results for both groups: retraining programs are generally no more effective than job search assistance in increasing either reemployment probabilities or postintervention earnings, and they are between two and four times more expensive than job search assistance. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

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  • Dar, Amit & Gill, Indermit S, 1998. "Evaluating Retraining Programs in OECD Countries: Lessons Learned," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 79-101, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:13:y:1998:i:1:p:79-101
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    1. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
    2. Newman, John & Rawlings, Laura & Gertler, Paul, 1994. "Using Randomized Control Designs in Evaluating Social Sector Programs in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 181-201, July.
    3. Addison, John T & Siebert, W Stanley, 1994. "Vocational Training and the European Community," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 696-724, October.
    4. Howard S. Bloom, 1990. "Back to Work: Testing Reemployment Services for Displaced Workers," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number btw, November.
    5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    6. Leigh, Duane E., 1992. "Retraining displaced workers : what can developing countries learn from OECD nations?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 946, The World Bank.
    7. Christopher J. O'Leary, 1995. "An Impact Analysis of Labor Market Programs in Hungary," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 95-30, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    8. Revenga, Ana & Riboud, Michelle & Tan, Hong, 1994. "The Impact of Mexico's Retraining Program on Employment and Wages," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 247-277, May.
    9. Grossman, Jean Baldwin, 1994. "Evaluating Social Policies: Principles and U.S. Experience," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 159-180, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen, 2011. "Start-up subsidies for the unemployed: Long-term evidence and effect heterogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 311-331.
    2. Sandra Cavaco & Denis Fougère & Julien Pouget, 2013. "Estimating the effect of a retraining program on the re-employment rate of displaced workers," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 261-287, February.
    3. Benu Bidani & Niels-Hugo Blunch & Chor-Ching Goh & Christopher J. O'Leary & Zhongmin Wu, 2009. "Evaluating job training in two Chinese cities," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: China in the World Economy, pages 137-155 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. World Bank, 2005. "Azerbaijan : Enterprise Restructuring and Labor Redeployment, Volume 1, Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8751, The World Bank.
    5. World Bank, 2007. "Armenia - Labor Market Dynamics : Volume 2. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7846, The World Bank.
    6. Cavaco, Sandra & Fougère, Denis & Pouget, Julien, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of a Retraining Program for Displaced Workers on Their Transition to Permanent Jobs," IZA Discussion Papers 1513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Getahun, Tigabu Degu, 2016. "The Effect of Industrial Cluster Policy on Firm Performance in Ethiopia: Evidence from the Leather Footware Cluster," Discussion Papers 229713, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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