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The Effectiveness of Public Sponsored Training Revisited: The Importance of Data and Methodological Choices

As the first, substantive contribution, this paper revisits the effectiveness of two widely used public sponsored training programs, the first one focusing on intensive occupational training and the second one on short-term activation and job entry. We use an exceptionally rich administrative data set for Germany to estimate their employment and earnings effects in the early 2000s. We employ a stratified propensity score matching approach to address dynamic selection into heterogeneous programs. As a second, methodological contribution, we carefully assess to what extent various aspects of our empirical strategy such as conditioning flexibly on employment and benefit histories, the availability of rich personal information, handling of later program participations, and further methodological and specification choices affect estimation results. Our results imply pronounced negative lock-in effects in the short run in general and positive medium-run effects on employment and earnings when job-seekers enroll after having been unemployed for some time. We find that data and specification issues can have a large effect on impact estimates.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2012-09.

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Length: 78 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2012_09
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