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Living Up to Expectations: How Job Training Made Women Better Off and Men Worse Off

Author

Listed:
  • Paloma Acevedo
  • Guillermo Cruces
  • Paul Gertler
  • Sebastian Martinez

Abstract

We study the interaction between job and soft skills training on expectations and labor market outcomes in the context of a youth training program in the Dominican Republic. Program applicants were randomly assigned to one of 3 modalities: a full treatment consisting of hard and soft skills training plus an internship, a partial treatment consisting of soft skills training plus an internship, or a control group. We find strong and lasting effects of the program on personal skills acquisition and expectations, but these results are markedly different for young men and young women. Shortly after completing the program, both male and female participants report increased expectations for improved employment and livelihoods. This result is reversed for male participants in the long run, a result that can be attributed to the program’s negative short-run effects on labor market outcomes for males. While these effects seem to dissipate in the long run, employed men are substantially more likely to be searching for another job. On the other hand, women experience improved labor market outcomes in the short run and exhibit substantially higher levels of personal skills in the long run. These results translate into women being more optimistic, having higher self-esteem and lower fertility in the long run. Our results suggest that job-training programs of this type can be transformative – for women, life skills mattered and made a difference, but they can also have a downside if, like in this case for men, training creates expectations that are not met.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23264
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Living Up to Expectations: How Job Training Made Women Better Off and Men Worse Off
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-06-02 17:34:48

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    Cited by:

    1. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Namrata Kala & Anant Nyshadham, 2018. "The Skills to Pay the Bills: Returns to On-the-job Soft Skills Training," NBER Working Papers 24313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Clement de Chaisemartin & Luc Behaghel, 2015. "Next please! Estimating the effect of treatments allocated by randomized waiting lists," Papers 1511.01453, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2017.

    More about this item

    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
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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