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Long Term Impacts of Vouchers for Vocational Training: Experimental Evidence for Colombia

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  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Arlen Guarín
  • Carlos Medina
  • Costas Meghir

Abstract

We use experimental data of a training program in 2005 in Colombia. We find that even up to ten years ahead, the JeA program had a positive and significant effect on the probability to work in the formal sector. Applicants in the treatment group also contributed more months to social security during the analyzed period, and to work for a large firm. Earnings of treated applicants were 11.8% higher in the whole sample, and they made larger contributions to social security. In addition, we also present non parametric bounds that for some percentiles of the sample of women, there are positive and nearly significant effects of the program. Thus, the effects of the program would have been capitalized both in increases in the likelihood of being formal, and increases in productivity. We also present evidence that the estimated program effects on the likelihood of working for the formal sector, the likelihood of working for a large firm, and the earnings in the formal sector, are not an artifact of analyzing multiple outcomes. We also find that for the whole sample of applicants, those in the treatment group have 0.315 more years of education, and have a probability of graduating from high school 10 percent higher than the control group. We find no significant effect on the probability of attending college or any school program, nor on fertility decisions, marital status or some dimensions of assortative mating. Among applicants matching to the census of the poorest population, we find that beneficiaries are more likely to participate in the labor market, to be employed, and to be enrolled in a private health insurance at the time of the survey. Finally, we find that the benefits of the JeA program are higher than it costs, leading to an internal rate of return of at least 22.1 percent. On the whole, the program was a cost-effective alternative, worth to consider to bridging the transit of youths from the informal to the formal sector in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Orazio Attanasio & Arlen Guarín & Carlos Medina & Costas Meghir, 2015. "Long Term Impacts of Vouchers for Vocational Training: Experimental Evidence for Colombia," NBER Working Papers 21390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21390
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    6. Chakravarty, Shubha & Lundberg, Mattias & Nikolov, Plamen & Zenker, Juliane, 2019. "Vocational training programs and youth labor market outcomes: Evidence from Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 71-110.
    7. Bruno Crépon & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2016. "Active Labor Market Policies," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 521-546, October.
    8. Piza, Caio & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2016. "Short and long-term effects of a child-labor ban," Textos para discussão 428, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
    9. Wendy Cunningham & Pablo Acosta & Noël Muller, 2016. "Minds and Behaviors at Work," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 24659, December.
    10. 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).
    11. Evan Borkum & Arif Mamun & Malik Khan Mubeen, "undated". "Evaluation of the Vocational Training Grant Fund in Namibia: Final Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c23d691613754f048ef486f03, Mathematica Policy Research.
    12. Mazzutti, Caio Cícero Toledo Piza da Costa, 2016. "Three essays on the causal impacts of child labour laws in Brazil," Economics PhD Theses 0616, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    13. Erica M. Field & Leigh L. Linden & Ofer Malamud & Daniel Rubenson & Shing-Yi Wang, 2019. "Does Vocational Education Work? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mongolia," NBER Working Papers 26092, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Jorge Rodríguez & Fernando Saltiel & Sergio S. Urzúa, 2018. "Dynamic Treatment Effects of Job Training," NBER Working Papers 25408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Andrés Ham & Darío Maldonado & Carlos Santiago Guzmán-Gutiérrez, 2019. "Tendencias recientes en la situación laboral de los jóvenes en Colombia: diagnóstico, desafíos y retos de política pública," Documentos de trabajo 017569, Escuela de Gobierno - Universidad de los Andes.
    17. Luz Adriana Florez & Lina Cardona-Sosa & Leonardo Fabio Morales & Julian Londoño, 2018. "The Returns from Training in Colombia: Evidence from a Longitudinal Survey," Borradores de Economia 1048, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    18. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler & Juan Saavedra & Luis Omar Herrera Prada, 2015. "Long-Term Educational Consequences of Vocational Training in Colombia: Impacts on Young Trainees and Their Relatives," NBER Working Papers 21607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. 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.
    20. Ham, Andrés & Maldonado, Darío & Guzmán-Gutiérrez, Carlos Santiago, 2020. "Recent trends in the youth labor market in Colombia: Diagnosis and policy challenges," Working papers 32, Red Investigadores de Economía.
    21. Chongcharoentanawat, Patima & Gassmann, Franziska & Mohnen, Pierre, 2018. "Thailand's vocational training and upward mobility: Impact Heterogeneity and Policy Implications," MERIT Working Papers 2018-043, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    22. Canavire-Bacarreza, Gustavo & Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Corrales-Espinosa, Alejandro, 2018. "The Impact of Public Libraries on School Achievement: The Case of Medellin," Working Papers 2072/351580, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J46 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Informal Labor Market
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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