Impact Evaluation of a Youth Job Training Program in the Dominican Republic:Ex-Post Evaluation Report of the Labor Training and Modernization Project (DR0134)
The purpose of this report is to assess whether the job training program Juventud y Empleo has had positive impacts, i.e. to determine if it has increased the employability of its participants. Additionally, the report also analyzes the implementation of the project vis-à-vis its original design. This is the first and only job training program in Latin America with an experimental evaluation component embedded in its design. The original design of the program considered two services (training and intermediation) to which participants would be randomly assigned, and the purpose of the evaluation was to compare the impact of these services between them and against the alternative of not receiving any service. However, the project had a slow start and some aspects of the design were not feasible given the reality of the country. In spite of this, the experimental evaluation component was maintained in essence for the only service actually provided (training), and the implementation of the random design was done correctly, thus allowing for the first experimental evaluation of a job training program in the region. The courses consisted of classroom training followed by an internship in a private sector firm. The eligible population was randomly selected to training, and information was gathered 10-14 months after graduation for both trainees and members of the control group. While most of the previous evaluations of similar programs, based on a quasi-experimental design, report positive impacts of training on the probability of having a job and on labor earnings, this evaluation does not find a significant impact on the likelihood of having a job. However, an impact is detected for wages, of 10% on average, and also for the coverage of health insurance, conditional on employment. Both results are, however, only marginally significant. The results suggest that there is significant heterogeneity of impacts, with male teens being the group that benefits from the program; impacts were not found for women or for young adults. Regional differences also seem to be present. Although small, the impact on wages (if maintained over time) coupled with no discernible employment effect implies that the costs of the program are recovered in two years. We also provide an operational definition for employability as the likelihood of getting a job if unemployed or the likelihood of remaining employed once that status is acquired. From this definition a dynamic random-coefficient logit model was estimated. The results of the model show that there is no significant impact of training on employability.
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