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Long Run Effects of Youth Training Programs: Experimental Evidence from Argentina

Author

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  • Alzúa, María Laura

    (Universidad Nacional de la Plata)

  • Cruces, Guillermo

    (CEDLAS-UNLP)

  • Lopez, Carolina

    (CEDLAS-UNLP)

Abstract

We study the effect of a job training program for low income youth in Cordoba, Argentina. The program included life-skills and vocational training, as well as internships with private sector employers. Participants were allocated by means of a public lottery. We rely on administrative data on formal employment, employment spells and earnings, to establish the effects of the program in the short term (18 months), but also – exceptionally for programs of this type in Latin America and in developing countries in general – in the medium term (33 months) and in the long term (48 months). The results indicate sizable gains of about 8 percentage points in formal employment in the short term (about 32% higher than the control group), although these effects dissipate in the medium and in the long term. Contrary to previous results for similar programs in the region, the effects are substantially larger for men, although they also seem to fade in the long run. Program participants also exhibit earnings about 40% higher than those in the control group, and an analysis of bounds indicates that these gains result from both higher employment levels and higher wages. The detailed administrative records also allow us to shed some light on the possible mechanisms underlying these effects. A dynamic analysis of employment transitions indicates that the program operated through an increase in the persistence of employment rather than from more frequent entries into employment. The earnings effect and the higher persistence of employment suggest that the program was successful in increasing the human capital of participants, although the transient nature of these results may also reflect better matches from a program-induced increase in informal contacts or formal intermediation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alzúa, María Laura & Cruces, Guillermo & Lopez, Carolina, 2016. "Long Run Effects of Youth Training Programs: Experimental Evidence from Argentina," IZA Discussion Papers 9784, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9784
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    Cited by:

    1. David McKenzie, 2017. "How Effective Are Active Labor Market Policies in Developing Countries? A Critical Review of Recent Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(2), pages 127-154.
    2. Das, Narayan, 2021. "Training the disadvantaged youth and labor market outcomes: Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    3. Bhaskar Chakravorty & Arjun S. Bedi, 2019. "Skills Training and Employment Outcomes in Rural Bihar," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 62(2), pages 173-199, June.
    4. Acevedo, Paloma & Cruces, Guillermo & Gertler, Paul & Martinez, Sebastian, 2020. "How vocational education made women better off but left men behind," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    5. Nwaobi, Godwin, 2019. "The Impact of N-Power(Training and Empowerment)Program on the Duration of Youth Unemployment in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 96323, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Paloma Acevedo & Guillermo Cruces & Paul Gertler & Sebastian Martinez, 2017. "Living Up to Expectations: How Job Training Made Women Better Off and Men Worse Off," NBER Working Papers 23264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Alaref, Jumana & Brodmann, Stefanie & Premand, Patrick, 2020. "The medium-term impact of entrepreneurship education on labor market outcomes: Experimental evidence from university graduates in Tunisia," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    8. Evan Borkum & Irina Cheban & Camila Fernandez & Ira Nichols-Barrer, "undated". "Evaluation Interim Report for the Georgia II Industry-Led Skills and Workforce Development Project," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 8cce62be3be740bd98784231a, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Maria Laura Alzúa & Soyolmaa Batbekh & Altantsetseg Batchuluun & Bayarmaa Dalkhjavd & José Galdo, 2019. "Living with the Neighbors: Demand-Driven Youth Training Programs: Experimental Evidence from Mongolia," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0249, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    10. Chakravorty, Bhaskar & Bedi, Arjun S., 2017. "Skills Training and Employment Outcomes in Rural Bihar," IZA Discussion Papers 10902, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Maria Laura Alzua & Soyolmaa Batbekh & Altantsetseg Batchuluun & Bayarmaa Dalkhjav & Jose Galdo, 2019. "Demand-Driven Youth Training Programs: Experimental Evidence from Mongolia," Working Papers PIERI 2019-11, PEP-PIERI.
    12. Agata MAIDA & Daniela SONEDDA, 2019. "Getting Out of the Starting Gate on the Right Foot: Employment Effects of Investment in Human Capital," Departmental Working Papers 2019-03, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    13. Beber, Bernd & Dworschak, Regina & Lakemann, Tabea & Lay, Jann & Priebe, Jan, 2021. "Skills Development and Training Interventions in Africa: Findings, Challenges, and Opportunities," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 247426, August.
    14. Vandenberg, Paul & Laranjo, Jade, 2021. "Vocational training and labor market outcomes in the Philippines," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    15. Fox,Louise & Kaul,Upaasna, 2018. "The evidence is in : how should youth employment programs in low-income countries be designed ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8500, The World Bank.
    16. Takuya Ishihara & Toru Kitagawa, 2021. "Evidence Aggregation for Treatment Choice," Papers 2108.06473, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    field experiment; youth labor training programs; youth unemployment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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