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Does Vocational Education Work? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mongolia


  • Erica M. Field
  • Leigh L. Linden
  • Ofer Malamud
  • Daniel Rubenson
  • Shing-Yi Wang


This paper estimates the impact of admission to formal vocational secondary programs on labor market outcomes in Mongolia. We conducted public lotteries to allocate scarce slots for approximately 8,000 students who applied to oversubscribed trades in 10 vocational schools during 2010, 2011, and 2012. We find that admission to oversubscribed vocational schools in Mongolia led to significantly higher employment, and increased earnings for women. These positive impacts appear to be due to the acquisition of more skills in specific trades, greater work intensity, and increased employment opportunities in high-paying sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26092
    Note: DEV ED

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    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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