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Validating Performance Indicators for Employment and Training Programs


  • Robert S. Gay
  • Michael E. Borus


Proxies are used to indicate the impact of employment and training programs. CETA prime sponsors and the Labor Department rely on these performance indicators for fund allocations. This study correlates eight indicators with the impact on earnings of participation in four types of programs. The study shows that performance indicators presently being used, which are primarily constructed from placement data, provide no useful information for judging relative program effectiveness. Other indicators, particularly changes in weeks in the labor force, weeks employed, and wage rates, while far from perfect, are correlated much more with earnings gain.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert S. Gay & Michael E. Borus, 1980. "Validating Performance Indicators for Employment and Training Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(1), pages 29-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:15:y:1980:i:1:p:29-48

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    2. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-799, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Courty, Pascal & Marschke, Gerald, 2004. "A General Test of Gaming," CEPR Discussion Papers 4514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Peter Z. Schochet & John A. Burghardt, 2008. "Do Job Corps performance measures track program impacts?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 556-576.
    4. James J. Heckman & Carolyn Heinrich & Jeffrey Smith, 2002. "The Performance of Performance Standards," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 778-811.
    5. Aakvik, Arild & Heckman, James J. & Vytlacil, Edward J., 2005. "Estimating treatment effects for discrete outcomes when responses to treatment vary: an application to Norwegian vocational rehabilitation programs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 15-51.
    6. Ozkan Eren & Serkan Ozbeklik, 2014. "Who Benefits From Job Corps? A Distributional Analysis Of An Active Labor Market Program," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 586-611, June.
    7. Robert J. LaLonde, 2003. "Employment and Training Programs," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 517-586 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. David H. Greenberg & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robin, 2006. "Do experimental and nonexperimental evaluations give different answers about the effectiveness of government-funded training programs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 523-552.
    9. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    10. Pia Peeters & Wendy Cunningham & Gayatri Acharya & Arvil Van Adams, 2009. "Youth Employment in Sierra Leone : Sustainable Livelihood Opportunities in a Post-conflict Setting," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2599.

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