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Evaluation of training for the unemployed in Mexico: learning by comparing methods


  • Delajara, Marcelo
  • Freije, Samuel
  • Soloaga, Isidro


We evaluate the Mexican training program for the unemployed PROBECAT/SICAT using methods that control for observable and non-observable factors. Comparing the different results over time allows us to gauge the size and evolution of hidden bias. We also compute the average treatment effect and the treatment effect on the treated. Our approach reveals the evolution of the program’s selection mechanism and judges the consequences of its expansions and contractions. We find that the program has a small though significant effect on employability, but no effect on wages. The hidden bias is large but declines over time and the selection mechanism turns from negative to neutral. These two aspects seem to be related to an important structural change in the design of the program that took place during the period under evaluation. All these results lead us to conclude that a parametric method controlling for un-observables provides the most complete tool for evaluating this program.

Suggested Citation

  • Delajara, Marcelo & Freije, Samuel & Soloaga, Isidro, 2013. "Evaluation of training for the unemployed in Mexico: learning by comparing methods," MPRA Paper 55210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55210

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
    2. James Heckman & Justin L. Tobias & Edward Vytlacil, 2003. "Simple Estimators for Treatment Parameters in a Latent-Variable Framework," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 748-755, August.
    3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767.
    4. Wodon, Quentin, 2001. "Government Programs and Poverty," MPRA Paper 12308, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gallart, María Antonia, 1998. "La articulación entre el sector público y la empresa privada en la formación profesional de América Latina," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 31106, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    6. Aportela Rodríguez, Fernando, 2003. "Efectos del programa mexicano de capacitación en la duración del desempleo de sus participantes," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(278), pages 275-314, abril-jun.
    7. James Heckman & Justin L. Tobias & Edward Vytlacil, 2001. "Four Parameters of Interest in the Evaluation of Social Programs," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 210-223, October.
    8. Mertens, Leonard & Baeza, Mónica & Díaz, Jaime, 1997. "La descentralización y el sector privado en la trayectoria de la formación profesional en México," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 30919, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    9. Marcelo Delajara & Samuel Freije & Isidro Soloaga, 2006. "An Evaluation of Training for the Unemployed in Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 35098, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
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    More about this item


    Evaluation; Training Programs; PROBECAT/SICAT; Parametric methods; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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