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Subsidizing Vocational Training for Disadvantaged Youth in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

  • Attanasio, Orazio


    (University College London)

  • Kugler, Adriana


    (Georgetown University)

  • Meghir, Costas


    (Yale University)

This paper evaluates the impact of a randomized training program for disadvantaged youth introduced in Colombia in 2005. This randomized trial offers a unique opportunity to examine the impact of training in developing countries. We use originally collected data on individuals randomly offered and not offered training. The program raises earnings and employment, especially for women. Women offered training earn 18% more and have a 0.05 higher probability of employment than those not offered training, mainly in formal sector jobs. Cost-benefit analysis of these results suggests that the program generates much larger net gains than those found in developed countries.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4251.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2011, 3 (3), 188-220
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4251
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2008. "Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 13855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264.
  3. 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 Discussion Papers 29142, The World Bank.
  4. Cristian Aedo & Sergio Nuñez, 2004. "The Impact of Training Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case of Programa Joven," Research Department Publications 3175, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. David Card & Daniel Sullivan, 1987. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements In andOut of Employment," NBER Working Papers 2173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-75, October.
  7. Angel Calderón Madrid, 2006. "Revisiting the Employability Effects of Training Programs for the Unemployed in Developing Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 43258, Inter-American Development Bank.
  8. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:3:p:1235-1264 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Bertrand, Marianne & L. Linden, Leigh & Perez-Calle, Francisco, 2008. "Conditional cash transfers in education : design features, peer and sibling effects evidence from a randomized experiment in Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4580, The World Bank.
  12. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2006. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-420, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  13. Petra E. Todd & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2001. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Performance of Propensity-Score Matching Methods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 112-118, May.
  14. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Indermit Gill & Claudio E. Montenegro & Dorte Domeland, 2002. "Crafting Labor Policy : Techniques and Lessons from Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15245.
  16. 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.
  17. Chong, Alberto & Galdo, Jose C., 2006. "Does the Quality of Training Programs Matter? Evidence from Bidding Processes Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2202, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. 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.
  19. Robert J. LaLonde, 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 149-168, Spring.
  20. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Long-Term Educational Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 847-862, June.
  21. Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer & Juan E. Saavedra, 2010. "Are Educational Vouchers Only Redistributive?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages F204-F228, 08.
  22. Barbara Sianesi, 2002. "Swedish active labour market programmes in the 1990s: overall effectiveness and differential performance," IFS Working Papers W02/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  23. Kugler, Adriana D., 2005. "Wage-shifting effects of severance payments savings accounts in Colombia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 487-500, February.
  24. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  25. Víctor Elías & Fernanda Ruiz Núñez & Ricardo Cossa & David Bravo, 2004. "An Econometric Cost-Benefit Analysis of Argentina's Youth Training Program," Research Department Publications 3174, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  26. David Card & Pablo Ibarraran & Ferdinando Regalia & David Rosas & Yuri Soares, 2007. "The Labor Market Impacts of Youth Training in the Dominican Republic: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 12883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program," IFS Working Papers W01/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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