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Program Applicants as a Comparison Group in Evaluating Training Programs: Theory and a Test


  • Stephen H. Bell

    (Abt Associates)

  • Larry l. Orr

    (Abt Associates)

  • John D. Blomquist

    (Abt Associates)

  • Glen G. Cain

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)


The authors begin with a thorough assessment of the many nonexperimental employment and training program evaluation techniques based on non-random comparison groups. These techniques typically use econometric methods to estimate the effects of employment and training programs by using comparison groups from non-program "external" sources. Then, recognizing the inherent drawbacks in these methods, Bell, Orr, Blomquist and Cain respond by reintroducing an evaluation method first implemented in the 1960s, the use of "internal" comparison groups consisting of nonparticipating program applicants.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen H. Bell & Larry l. Orr & John D. Blomquist & Glen G. Cain, 1995. "Program Applicants as a Comparison Group in Evaluating Training Programs: Theory and a Test," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pacg, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:ubooks:pacg
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    More about this item


    program evaluation; job training; training programs; program applicants;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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