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Unbundling the Degree Effect in a Job Training Program for Disadvantaged Youth

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  • Bampasidou, Maria
  • Flores, Carlos A.
  • Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso

Abstract

Government-sponsored education and training programs have the goal to enhance participants' skills so as to become more employable, productive and dependable citizens and thus alleviate poverty and decrease public dependence. While most of the literature evaluating training programs concentrates on estimating their total average treatment effect, these programs offer a variety of services to participants. Estimating the effect of these components is of importance for the design and the evaluation of labor market programs. In this paper, we employ a recent nonparametric approach to estimate bounds on the "mechanism average treatment effect" to evaluate the causal effect of attaining a high school diploma, General Education Development or vocational certificate within a training program for disadvantaged youth 16-24 (Job Corps) relative to other services pffered, on two labor outcomes: employment probability and weekly earnings. We provide these estimates for different demographic groups by race, ethnicity, gender, and two age-risk groups (youth and young adults). Our analysis depicts a positive impact of a degree attainment within the training program on employment probability and weekly earnings for the majority of its participants which in general accounts for 55 - 63 percent of the effect of the program. The heterogeneity of the key demographic subgroups is documented in the relative importance of a degree attainment and of the other services provided in Job Corps.

Suggested Citation

  • Bampasidou, Maria & Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2011. "Unbundling the Degree Effect in a Job Training Program for Disadvantaged Youth," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103619, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103619
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/103619
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694.
    2. Donald B. Rubin, 2004. "Direct and Indirect Causal Effects via Potential Outcomes," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 31(2), pages 161-170.
    3. Angrist, J.D. & Imbens, G.W., 1991. "Sources of Identifying Information in Evaluation Models," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1568, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Calmfors, Lars & Forslund, Anders & Hemström, Maria, 2002. "Does Active Labour Market Policy Work? Lessons from the Swedish Experiences," Seminar Papers 700, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    5. James J. Heckman, 2010. "Building Bridges between Structural and Program Evaluation Approaches to Evaluating Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 356-398, June.
    6. Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Arturo Gonzalez & Todd Neumann, 2010. "Learning But Not Earning? The Impact Of Job Corps Training On Hispanic Youth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 651-667, July.
    7. Peter Z. Schochet & John Burghardt & Sheena McConnell, 2008. "Does Job Corps Work? Impact Findings from the National Job Corps Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1864-1886, December.
    8. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    9. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2007. "The Curse and Blessing of Training the Unemployed in a Changing Economy: The Case of East Germany After Unification," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 468-509, November.
    10. Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2009. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Mechanisms and Net Effects of a Treatment under Unconfoundedness," IZA Discussion Papers 4237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
    12. Michael Lechner & Blaise Melly, 2010. "Partial Idendification of Wage Effects of Training Programs," Working Papers 2010-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    13. Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "The Effectiveness of European Active Labor Market Policy," RWI Discussion Papers 37, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    14. Howard S. Bloom & Larry L. Orr & Stephen H. Bell & George Cave & Fred Doolittle & Winston Lin & Johannes M. Bos, 1997. "The Benefits and Costs of JTPA Title II-A Programs: Key Findings from the National Job Training Partnership Act Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 549-576.
    15. David H. Greenberg & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2004. "What Happens To The Effects Of Government-Funded Training Programs Over Time?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    16. Couch, Kenneth A, 1992. "New Evidence on the Long-Term Effects of Employment Training Programs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 380-388, October.
    17. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, 2010. "Nonparametric Partial Identification of Causal Net and Mechanism Average Treatment Effects," Working Papers 2010-25, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    18. Daniel Friedlander & David H. Greenberg & Philip K. Robins, 1997. "Evaluating Government Training Programs for the Economically Disadvantaged," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1809-1855, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Causal Inference; Treatment Effects; Mechanism Average Effects; Nonparametric Bounds; Potential Outcomes; Principal Stratification; Training Programs; Job Corps; Active Labor Market Policies; Labor and Human Capital; Public Economics; C14; I20; J01;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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