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The long-term earnings consequences of general vs. specific training of the unemployed

  • Stenberg, Anders

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

  • Westerlund, Olle

    ()

    (Umeå University)

Training programs for the unemployed typically involve teaching a specific skill to ease the transition into employment. However, in 1997, the Swedish unemployed could choose general/theoretical training through enrollment in one year of full-time studies at the upper secondary school level. This study provides an empirical assessment of the relative earnings impact of general vs. specific training 13 years post-enrollment. In the long term, general training may compensate for the short-term relative earnings loss by enhancing the ability to adapt to changes in demand for skills. The analyses are based on population register data 1990-2010 and an unusually rich set of control variables. The results indicate that both programs are associated with earnings increases. Our relative program estimates reveal a short-term advantage of specific training that converges within 5-7 years. With a longer perspective, there is considerable heterogeneity in the relative earnings estimates. For females with short educations, the earnings increases following general training substantially exceed those following specific training.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2014:3.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 17 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2014_003
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  1. repec:sip:wpaper:11-003 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2004. "Does Comprehensive Education Work for the Long-term Unemployed?," Umeå Economic Studies 641, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  3. Lechner, Michael & Miquel, Ruth & Wunsch, Conny, 2005. "Long run Effects of Public Sector Sponsored Training in West Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4851, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. David E. Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2009. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-analysis," NRN working papers 2009-02, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  5. Anders Stenberg, 2007. "Comprehensive education or vocational training for the unemployed?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 42 - 61, May.
  6. Bruno Crépon & Esther Duflo & Marc Gurgand & Roland Rathelot & Philippe Zamora, 2012. "Do Labor Market Policies Have Displacement Effects? Evidence from a Clustered Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 18597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Albrecht, James & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Vroman, Susan, 2006. "The Aggregate Labor Market Effects of the Swedish Knowledge Lift Program," IZA Discussion Papers 2385, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Stenberg, Anders & de Luna, Xavier & Westerlund, Olle, 2011. "Does Formal Education for Older Workers Increase Earnings? Analyzing Annual Data Stretching Over 25 Years," Working Paper Series 8/2011, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  10. Louis Jacobson & Robert LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2002. "Estimating the returns to community college schooling for displaced workers," Working Paper Series WP-02-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Dirk Krueger & Krishna B. Kumar, 2004. "Skill-Specific rather than General Education: A Reason for US--Europe Growth Differences?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 167-207, 06.
  12. Krueger, Dirk & Kumar, Krishna B., 2004. "US-Europe differences in technology-driven growth: quantifying the role of education," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 161-190, January.
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  16. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 485, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  17. Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2014. "The Long-term Earnings Consequences of General vs. Specific Training of the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 8668, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Kluve, Jochen, 2010. "The effectiveness of European active labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 904-918, December.
  19. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  20. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Stenberg, Anders, 2011. "Using longitudinal data to evaluate publicly provided formal education for low skilled," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1262-1280.
  22. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
  23. David H. Greenberg & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robin, 2006. "Do experimental and nonexperimental evaluations give different answers about the effectiveness of government-funded training programs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 523-552.
  24. Ben Jann, 2010. "Heterogeneous treatment-effect analysis," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2010 03, Stata Users Group.
  25. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey A, 1999. "The Pre-programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme. Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 313-48, July.
  26. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
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