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Revisiting the Employability Effects of Training Programs for the Unemployed in Developing Countries


  • Angel Calderon Madrid


Data sets used for evaluations in developing countries do not lend themselves to measuring the impact of training programs on the re-employment dynamics of trainees. An exception is a data set collected for an evaluation conducted in 1994 on participants in a training program targeting the unemployed in Mexico. In addition to having a control group of eligible individuals who did not participate in the program, this data set is the only one with longitudinal data covering not only the length of unemployment episodes after the training of the respondent, but also the duration of his/her employment spells. We use this data and estimate the additional weeks individuals work as the result of training, relative to what would be the case without it. Based on hazard functions, we calculate a program`s impact on both the time spent searching for a job and the time spent in that job. We show that a failure to distinguish between finding a "sustained" job versus finding "a job" can lead to misleading conclusions about a program`s effectiveness. We also illustrate the need to correct for unobserved heterogeneity across individuals in hazard functions to avoid misleading implications in an evaluation.

Suggested Citation

  • Angel Calderon Madrid, 2006. "Revisiting the Employability Effects of Training Programs for the Unemployed in Developing Countries," Research Department Publications 3224, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3224

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    2. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    3. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
    4. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
    5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    6. Liliane Bonnal & Denis Fougère & Anne Sérandon, 1997. "Evaluating the Impact of French Employment Policies on Individual Labour Market Histories," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 683-713.
    7. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Attanasio, Orazio & Kugler, Adriana & Meghir, Costas, 2009. "Subsidizing Vocational Training for Disadvantaged Youth in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 4251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Orazio Attanasio & Adriana Kugler & Costas Meghir, 2008. "Training Disadvantaged Youth in Latin America: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," NBER Working Papers 13931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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