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Labor Markets and Evaluations of Vocational Training Programs in the Public High Schools - Toward a Framework for Analysis

  • Alan L. Gustman
  • Thomas L. Steinmeier

A simplified model is constructed to analyze the role played by vocational training programs In high schools. The model assumes that there are two kinds of educational programs in high schools, vocational and general. It also assumes that there are two types of jobs for high school graduates. One job requires training that either can be obtained from a vocational program in high school or as general training on the job. The other job has no special training requirements. The model is used in two ways. First, it is used to examine how the equilibrium outcome is affected by limitations on the number of places in the vocational training program and by the minimum wage. Second, it helps to determine what can be. learned from studies that take what has become a standard approach to evaluating high school vocational training programs -- attempting to estimate the productivity of this program by comparing the earnings of vocational and nonvocational program graduates. We conclude that whether or not limitations on enrollments In vocational programs and minimum wages influence the wage difference between vocational and nonvocational program graduates, findings based on the standard approach to cost-benefit analysis of high school vocational training programs may prove to be highly misleading guides for policy.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0478.

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Date of creation: May 1980
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Publication status: published as Gustman, Alan L. and Steinmeier, Thomas L. "Labor Markets and Evaluations of Vocational Training Programs in the Public High Schools - Toward a Framework for Analysis." Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 49, No.1, (July 1982),pp. 185-200.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0478
Note: LS
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  1. Freeman, Richard B, 1974. "Occupational Training in Proprietary Schools and Technical Institutes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(3), pages 310-18, August.
  2. Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S87-104, August.
  3. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1979. "The Impact of the Market and the Family on Youth Employment and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 0415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Second Edition," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, 07.
  5. Edward M. Gramlich, 1976. "Impact of Minimum Wages on Other Wages, Employment, and Family Incomes," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 409-462.
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