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Life Skills, Employability and Training for Disadvantage Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation Design

  • Pablo Ibarrarán
  • Laura Ripani
  • Bibiana Taboada
  • Juan Miguel Villa
  • Brígida García

This paper presents an impact evaluation of a revamped version of the Dominican youth training program Juventud y Empleo. The paper analyzes the impact of the program on traditional labor market outcomes and on outcomes related to youth behavior and life style, expectations about the future and socio-emotional skills. In terms of labor market outcomes, the program has a positive impact on job formality for men of about 17 percent and there is also a seven percent increase in monthly earnings among those employed. However, there are no overall impacts on employment rates. Regarding non-labor market outcomes, the program reduces teenage pregnancy by five percentage points in the treatment group (about 45 percent), which is consistent with an overall increase in youth expectations about the future. The program also has a positive impact on non-cognitive skills as measured by three different scales. Scores improve between 0.08 and 0.16 standard deviations with the program. Although recent progress noted in the literature suggests that socio-emotional skills increase employability and quality of employment, the practical significance of the impacts is unclear, as there is only weak evidence that the life skills measures used are associated to better labor market performance. This is an area of growing interest and relevance that requires further research.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 78218.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:78218
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  1. Hirshleifer, Sarojini & McKenzie, David & Almeida, Rita & Ridao-Cano, Cristobal, 2014. "The impact of vocational training for the unemployed : experimental evidence from Turkey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6807, The World Bank.
  2. Brunello, Giorgio & Schlotter, Martin, 2011. "Non Cognitive Skills and Personality Traits: Labour Market Relevance and their Development in Education & Training Systems," IZA Discussion Papers 5743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," NBER Technical Working Papers 0333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eva O. Arceo-Gómez & Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez, 2014. "Teenage Pregnancy in Mexico: Evolution and Consequences," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 51(1), pages 109-146, May.
  5. David Card & Pablo Ibarrar�n & Ferdinando Regalia & David Rosas-Shady & Yuri Soares, 2011. "The Labor Market Impacts of Youth Training in the Dominican Republic," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 267 - 300.
  6. Felfe, Christina & Lechner, Michael & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2011. "Sports and Child Development," IZA Discussion Papers 6105, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Pablo Ibarraran & David Rosas Shady, 2009. "Evaluating the impact of job training programmes in Latin America: evidence from IDB funded operations," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 195-216.
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