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Choosing to be Trained: Evidence from a Field Experiment

  • Utteeyo Dasgupta

    (Franklin and Marshall College)

  • Subha Mani

    (Fordham University)

  • Lata Gangadharan

    (Monash University)

  • Pushkar Maitra

    (Monash University)

  • Samyukta Subramanian


This paper combines unique experimental and survey data to examine the determinants of self-selection into a training program. Women residing in selected disadvantaged areas in New Delhi, India were invited to apply for a six-month long subsidized training program in stitching and tailoring. A random subset of applicants and non-applicants to the training program were invited to participate in an artefactual field experiment and in a detailed socio-economic survey. We find that applicants and non-applicants differ both in terms of socio-economic characteristics (elicited through survey data), and behavioral traits (elicited using a field experiment). Identifying these characteristics can help policy-makers design and promote programs so as to make them more appealing to the target group, and thus improve take-up rates. Our results also suggest that as a methodology, there is valuable information to be gained by dissecting the black box of unobservables using behavioral data from experiments.

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Paper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2012_01.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2012_01
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