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Assessing Clinton's Program on Job Training, Workfare, and Education in the Workplace

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  • James Heckman

Abstract

The Clinton administration has made job training and skill upgrading a major priority. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has already presented a bold program for skill enhancement drawing on a new consensus in certain circles of the social science and policy communities about the need to upgrade the nation's skills. An apparently new approach to training and education has been proposed and Secretary Reich is now busy selling it to the Congress and the Nation. This paper provides background on the problems in the labor market that motivate the new Clinton-Reich initiatives on training and schooling. It briefly summarizes the proposed strategies and the background philosophy for the Clinton-Reich agenda. It then considers the evidence that supports or contradicts assumptions of their plan. There is a lot of evidence about many of the 'new' proposals because some are reworked versions of old programs that have been carefully evaluated. Other proposals borrow ideas from Germany. I compare the rhetoric that accompanies these proposals in the context of the U.S. labor market. Still other proposals have been evaluated in demonstration projects but the lessons from these evaluations have not yet influenced administration thinking. This is unfortunate because many current plans are based on assumptions that have been discredited in careful empirical studies. This research has not yet caught the attention of the policy makers in Washington.

Suggested Citation

  • James Heckman, 1993. "Assessing Clinton's Program on Job Training, Workfare, and Education in the Workplace," NBER Working Papers 4428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4428
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    Cited by:

    1. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2001. "Continuous training in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 523-548.
    2. David Neumark & Mary Joyce, 2001. "Evaluating School-to-Work Programs Using the New NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 666-702.
    3. Adda & Dustmann, 2004. "Career Progression and Formal versus on the Job Training," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 492, Econometric Society.
    4. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 733-753, December.
    5. Jean-Marc Robin & Costas Meghir & Christian Dustmann & Jerome Adda, 2013. "Career Progression, Economic Downturns, and Skills," 2013 Meeting Papers 993, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Alet, Elodie & Bonnal, Liliane, 2011. "Vocational schooling and educational success: comparing apprenticeship to full-time vocational high-school," TSE Working Papers 27239, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. repec:eee:epplan:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:38-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 79-119.
    9. Dietmar Harhoff & Thomas J. Kane, 1993. "Financing Apprenticeship Training: Evidence from Germany," NBER Working Papers 4557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Leonardo Felli & Christopher Harris, 2004. "Firm-Specific Training," Economics Working Papers 0038, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
    11. Rosella Gardecki & David Neumark, 1998. "Order from Chaos? The Effects of Early Labor Market Experiences on Adult Labor Market Outcomes," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 299-322, January.
    12. David Neumark, 1998. "Youth Labor Markets in the U.S.: Shopping Around vs. Staying Put," NBER Working Papers 6581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Schmillen, Achim & Umkehrer, Matthias, 2013. "The scars of youth : effects of early-career unemployment on future unemployment experience," IAB Discussion Paper 201306, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    14. Susan N. Houseman, "undated". "Job Growth and the Quality of Jobs in the U.S. Economy," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles snh19951, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    15. Cooke, L. P., 2003. "A comparison of initial and early life course earnings of the German secondary education and training system," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 79-88, February.
    16. Parey, Matthias, 2016. "Vocational Schooling versus Apprenticeship Training. Evidence from Vacancy Data," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145655, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Werner Eichhorst & Núria Rodríguez-Planas & Ricarda Schmidl & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2015. "A Road Map to Vocational Education and Training in Industrialized Countries," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(2), pages 314-337, March.

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