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Learning but Not Earning? The Value of Job Corps Training for Hispanic Youths

  • Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso

    ()

    (Syracuse University)

  • Gonzalez, Arturo

    ()

    (Ernst & Young)

  • Neumann, Todd C.

    ()

    (University of California, Merced)

The National Job Corps Study (NJCS) was a four-year longitudinal social experiment that randomized over 15,000 Job Corps eligible applicants into treatment and control groups. Experimental estimators revealed a positive impact of Job Corps training in the weekly earnings of white and black youths 48 months after randomization, but not for Hispanic youths. This study considers explanations for why Job Corps does not increase the earnings of Hispanics in the NJCS. First, we show that the randomization in the NJCS did not create comparable treatment and control groups for Hispanics. We then apply alternative estimators that adjust for systematic differences in observable and time-invariant characteristics, but still find statistically insignificant effects of Job Corps 48 months after randomization. Finally, we estimate the "net treatment effect" controlling for post-treatment experience to advance an explanation for why Job Corps fails to benefit Hispanics 48 months after randomization: non-treated Hispanics earn a significant amount of labor market experience during the study compared to all other groups. This higher level of experience translates into higher earnings that Hispanic treated individuals are not able to overcome by the end of the study, despite having higher earnings growth in the 48-month period of any group.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1638.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1638.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Inquiry, 2010, 48 (3), 651-667
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1638
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  1. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2004. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences across Black, Mexican, and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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  6. John Burghardt & Sheena McConnell & Alicia Meckstroth & Peter Schochet & Terry Johnson & John Homrighausen, 1999. "National Job Corps Study: Report on Study Implementation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 871cc2556a8b4475b09c99bf4, Mathematica Policy Research.
  7. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Burghardt & Peter Z. Schochet & Sheena McConnell & Terry Johnson & R. Mark Gritz & Steven Glazerman & John Homrighausen & Russell Jackson, 2001. "Does Job Corps Work? Summary of the National Job Corps Study," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 3d00dc5e556f4bdd88335dd90, Mathematica Policy Research.
  9. Terry Johnson & Mark Gritz & Russell Jackson & John Burghardt & Carol Boussy & Jan Leonard & Carlyn Orians, 1999. "National Job Corps Study: Report on the Process Analysis," Mathematica Policy Research Reports efc0cd05f0524a049779f797f, Mathematica Policy Research.
  10. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. repec:mpr:mprres:2949 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
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  16. 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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  22. Peter Schochet, 1998. "National Job Corps Study: Eligible Applicants' Perspectives on Job Corps Outreach and Admissions," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7fe879b287a0438bb2f1bced8, Mathematica Policy Research.
  23. repec:mpr:mprres:2952 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Peter Z. Schochet & John Burghardt & Steven Glazerman, 2001. "National Job Corps Study: The Impacts of Job Corps on Participants' Employment and Related Outcomes," Mathematica Policy Research Reports db6c4204b8e1408bb0c6289ec, Mathematica Policy Research.
  25. repec:mpr:mprres:1968 is not listed on IDEAS
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