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Can Mentoring Alleviate Family Disadvantage in Adolescence? A Field Experiment to Improve Labor-Market Prospects

Author

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  • Resnjanskij, Sven

    (ifo Institute)

  • Ruhose, Jens

    (Kiel University)

  • Wiederhold, Simon

    (Catholic University Eichstaett-Ingolstadt)

  • Woessmann, Ludger

    (ifo Institute and LMU Munich)

Abstract

We study a mentoring program that aims to improve the labor-market prospects of school-attending adolescents from disadvantaged families by offering them a university-student mentor. Our RCT investigates program effectiveness on three outcome dimensions that are highly predictive of adolescents later labor-market success: math grades, patience-social skills, and labor-market orientation. For low-SES adolescents, the one-to-one mentoring increases a combined index of the outcomes by half a standard deviation after one year, with significant increases in each dimension. Part of the treatment effect is mediated by establishing mentors as attachment figures who provide guidance for the future. The mentoring is not effective for higher-SES adolescents. The results show that substituting lacking family support by other adults can help disadvantaged children at adolescent age.

Suggested Citation

  • Resnjanskij, Sven & Ruhose, Jens & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2021. "Can Mentoring Alleviate Family Disadvantage in Adolescence? A Field Experiment to Improve Labor-Market Prospects," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 277, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
  • Handle: RePEc:rco:dpaper:277
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    Cited by:

    1. Sven Resnjanskij & Jens Ruhose & Simon Wiederhold & Ludger Wößmann, 2021. "Mentoring verbessert die Arbeitsmarktchancen von stark benachteiligten Jugendlichen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 74(02), pages 31-38, February.
    2. Engel, Julia F. & Huber, Christoph & Nüß, Patrick, 2022. "Replication Report: How Do Beliefs About the Gender Wage Gap Affect the Demand for Public Policy?," I4R Discussion Paper Series 12, The Institute for Replication (I4R).
    3. Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2021. "The Legacy of COVID-19 in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 14796, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Clara Albrecht & Maria Hofbauer Pérez & Tanja Stitteneder, 2021. "Migrationsmonitor: Die Bedeutung geschlechtsspezifischer Ansätze für die Integration von weiblichen Geflüchteten," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 74(04), pages 63-69, April.
    5. Clara Albrecht & Maria Hofbauer Pérez & Tanja Stitteneder, 2021. "The Integration Challenges of Female Refugees and Migrants: Where Do We Stand?," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 22(02), pages 39-46, March.
    6. Susan Athey & Emil Palikot, 2022. "Effective and scalable programs to facilitate labor market transitions for women in technology," Papers 2211.09968, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2022.
    7. Florian Schoner & Lukas Mergele & Larissa Zierow, 2021. "Grading Student Behavior," CESifo Working Paper Series 9275, CESifo.
    8. Hermes, Henning & Lergetporer, Philipp & Peter, Frauke & Wiederhold, Simon, 2021. "Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 16/2021, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    9. Fabian J. Baier & Paul J.J. Welfens & Tobias Zander, 2021. "Employment and Job Perspectives for Female Refugees in Germany: Analysis and Policy Implications from a Local Survey Study," EIIW Discussion paper disbei308, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    10. Silvia Angerer & Jana Bolvashenkova & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer & Matthias Sutter, 2021. "Children’s patience and school-track choices several years later: Linking experimental and field data," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2021_12, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    11. Ludger Wößmann, 2021. "Bildungsverluste durch Corona: Wie lassen sie sich aufholen?," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 101(3), pages 150-151, March.
    12. Ludger Wößmann & Vera Freundl & Elisabeth Grewenig & Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner & Larissa Zierow, 2021. "Bildung erneut im Lockdown: Wie verbrachten Schulkinder die Schulschließungen Anfang 2021?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 74(05), pages 36-52, May.
    13. Silvan Has & Jake Anders & John Jerrim & Nikki Shure, 2021. "Educational expectations of UK teenagers and the role of socio-economic status and economic preferences," CEPEO Working Paper Series 21-11, UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, revised Dec 2021.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mentoring; disadvantaged youths; adolescence; school performance; patience; social skills; labor-market orientation; field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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