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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.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3177.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3177
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  4. 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 381-86, May.
  5. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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