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The Impact of Public and Private Job Training in Colombia


  • Carlos Medina
  • Jairo Núñez


The authors present matching estimators of the impact on earnings for individuals who attended public and private job training programs in Colombia. They estimate propensity scores by controlling for the variety of personal and socioeconomic background variables of those individuals. The effect of training, measured by the mean impact of the treatment on the treated, shows that: (i) for youths, no institution has a significant impact in the short or long run except private institutions for males; the scope of the data, however, limits the reliability of the result; (ii) for adult males, neither SENA nor the other public institutions have a significant impact in the short or long run; (iii) for SENA-trained adult females there are positive but not significant impacts in the short run and greater and close to significant effects in the long run. All other public institutions have a higher impact that is significant in the long-run; (iv) for adults trained at private institutions there are large and significant effects in both the short and long run, but for adult males in the short run the effects are smaller and only barely significant. In addition, neither short nor long courses provided by SENA seem to have a significant impact on earnings. In general, females benefit more from both short and long courses than males. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis shows that under the assumption of direct unitary costs equal to SENA, private institutions are more profitable than public institutions, which are in turn more profitable than SENA.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Medina & Jairo Núñez, 2005. "The Impact of Public and Private Job Training in Colombia," Research Department Publications 3177, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3177

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    2. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "General-Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 381-386, May.
    3. Vella, Francis, 1993. "A Simple Estimator for Simultaneous Models with Censored Endogenous Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 441-457, May.
    4. Jimenez, Emmanuel & Kugler, Bernardo & Horn, Robin, 1989. "National In-Service Training Systems in Latin America: An Economic Evaluation of Colombia's SENA," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(3), pages 595-610, April.
    5. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    6. Emmanuel Jimenez & Bernardo Kugler, 1987. "The Earnings Impact of Training Duration in a Developing Country: An Ordered Probit Selection Model of Colombia's Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA)," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 228-247.
    7. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
    8. Garen, John, 1984. "The Returns to Schooling: A Selectivity Bias Approach with a Continuous Choice Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1199-1218, September.
    9. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Andrés Tamayo & Jairo Núñez & Carlos Medina, 2013. "The Unemployment Subsidy Program in Colombia: An Assessment," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4622, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Suzanne Duryea & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2002. "Políticas de capital humano: qué pueden conseguir y qué no en cuanto a la productividad y la reducción de la pobreza en América Latina," Research Department Publications 4298, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Suzanne Duryea & Carmen Pagés, 2002. "Human Capital Policies: What they Can and Cannot Do for Productivity and Poverty Reduction in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1103, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Juan Esteban Saavedra & Carlos Medina, 2012. "Formación para el Trabajo en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010315, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    5. Betcherman, Gordon & Olivas, Karina & Dar, Amit, 2004. "Impacts of active labor market programs : new evidence from evaluations with particular attention to developing and transition countries," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 29142, The World Bank.
    6. repec:ilo:ilowps:468419 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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