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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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 55210.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Políticas Públicas 1.1(2013): pp. 9-41
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55210
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  1. Marcelo Delajara & Samuel Freije & Isidro Soloaga, 2006. "An Evaluation of Training for the Unemployed in Mexico," OVE Working Papers 0906, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
  2. 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.
  3. Wodon, Quentin, 2001. "Government Programs and Poverty," MPRA Paper 12308, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
  8. 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.
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