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The Impact of CETA Programs on Earnings: A Review of the Literature


  • Burt S. Barnow


This paper reviews and assesses evaluations of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) programs. Most of the studies found that the programs raised earnings by $200 to $600 annually in current dollars. The programs were found to be more effective for women than men, and public service employment and on-the-job training were generally found to be more effective activities than classroom training and work experience. In spite of the broad overall agreement, the studies differed significantly in many of their specific impact findings. The nonexperimental nature of the data required the studies to make specific assumptions about selection procedures used to determine which individuals received training, and the results are sensitive to the specific measures adopted. Data limitation and the inability to adequately test the validity of selection processes assumed make it impossible to determine which studies modeled the process correctly.

Suggested Citation

  • Burt S. Barnow, 1987. "The Impact of CETA Programs on Earnings: A Review of the Literature," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 157-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:22:y:1987:i:2:p:157-193

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