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Evaluating job training in two Chinese cities

In: China in the World Economy

Recent years have seen a surge in the evidence on the impacts of active labor market programs for numerous countries. However, little evidence has been presented on the effectiveness of such programs in China. Recent economic reforms, associated massive lay-offs, and accompanying public retraining programs make China fertile ground for rigorous impact evaluations. This study evaluates retraining programs for laid-off workers in the cities of Shenyang and Wuhan using a comparison group design. To our knowledge, this is the first evaluation of its kind in China. The evidence suggests that retraining helped workers find jobs in Wuhan, but had little effect in Shenyang. However, in terms of earnings impacts, retraining appears to have increased earnings in Shenyang but not in Wuhan. The study raises questions about the overall effectiveness of retraining expenditures, and it offers some directions for policymakers about future interventions to help laid-off workers.

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This chapter was published in: Benu Bidani & Niels-Hugo Blunch & Chor-Ching Goh & Christopher J. O'Leary & Zhongmin Wu China in the World Economy, Routledge, pages 137-155, 2009.
This item is provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers with number cjoroutledge.
Handle: RePEc:upj:uchaps:cjoroutledge
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  1. DiPrete, Thomas A. & Gangl, Markus, 2004. "Assessing bias in the estimation of causal effects: Rosenbaum bounds on matching estimators and instrumental variables estimation with imperfect instruments," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2004-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  3. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  4. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin & Salvia, Agustin, 2001. "Assisting the transition from workfare to work : a randomized experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2738, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
  6. Fretwell, David H. & Benus, Jacob & O'Leary, Christopher J., 1999. "Evaluating the impact of active labor programs : results of cross country studies in Europe and Central Asia," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20131, The World Bank.
  7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  8. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  9. 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.
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