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New Estimates of Public Employment and Training Program Net Impacts: A Nonexperimental Evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act Program

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Abstract

This paper presents nonexperimental net impact estimates for the Adult and Dislocated Worker programs under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the primary federal job training program in the U.S, based on administrative data from 12 states, covering approximately 160,000 WIA participants and nearly 3 million comparison group members. The key measure of interest is the increment in average quarterly earnings or employment attributable to WIA program participation for those who participate, estimated for up to four years following entry into the program using propensity score matching methods. The results for participants in the WIA Adult program show that participating is associated with a several-hundred-dollar increase in average quarterly earnings. Adult program participants who obtain training have lower earnings in the months during training and the year after exit than those who don’t receive training, but they catch up within 10 quarters, ultimately registering large gains. The marginal benefits of training exceed, on average, $400 in earnings each quarter three years after program entry. Participants in the Dislocated Worker program experience several quarters for which earnings are depressed relative to comparison group workers after entering WIA, and, although their earnings ultimately match or overtake the comparison group, the benefits they obtain are smaller than for those in the Adult program.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter R. Mueser & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Kenneth R. Troske & Kyung-Seong Jeon & Daver C. Kahvecioglu, 2010. "New Estimates of Public Employment and Training Program Net Impacts: A Nonexperimental Evaluation of the Workforce Investment Act Program," Working Papers 1003, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  • Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1003
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    Cited by:

    1. Dolton, Peter & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2011. "The Impact of the UK New Deal for Lone Parents on Benefit Receipt," IZA Discussion Papers 5491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Anthony Strittmatter, 2018. "Direct and indirect effects of training vouchers for the unemployed," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 181(2), pages 441-463, February.
    3. Holzer, Harry J., 2012. "Raising Job Quality and Worker Skills in the US: Creating More Effective Education and Workforce Development Systems in States," IZA Policy Papers 42, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Martin Biewen & Bernd Fitzenberger & Aderonke Osikominu & Marie Paul, 2014. "The Effectiveness of Public-Sponsored Training Revisited: The Importance of Data and Methodological Choices," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 837-897.
    5. Andrew Barr & Sarah Turner, 2017. "A Letter and Encouragement: Does Information Increase Post-Secondary Enrollment of UI Recipients?," NBER Working Papers 23374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Barr, Andrew & Turner, Sarah, 2015. "Out of work and into school: Labor market policies and college enrollment during the Great Recession," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 63-73.
    7. Singer, Christine & Toomet, Ott-Siim, 2013. "On government-subsidized training programs for older workers," IAB Discussion Paper 201321, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "Sensitivity of matching-based program evaluations to the availability of control variables," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 111-121.
    9. Bernd Fitzenberger & Olga Orlanski & Aderonke Osikominu & Marie Paul, 2013. "Déjà Vu? Short-term training in Germany 1980–1992 and 2000–2003," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 289-328, February.
    10. Fredrik Andersson & Harry J. Holzer & Julia I. Lane & David Rosenblum & Jeffrey Smith, 2013. "Does Federally-Funded Job Training Work? Nonexperimental Estimates of WIA Training Impacts Using Longitudinal Data on Workers and Firms," NBER Working Papers 19446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Adrian Fleissig, 2014. "Return on Investment from Training Programs and Intensive Services," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 42(1), pages 39-51, March.
    12. Jones, Stephen, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Training for Displaced Workers with Long Prior Job Tenure," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-3, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2012.
    13. Jones, Michael, 2017. "The Effect of Job Readiness Programs on Criminal Behavior," MPRA Paper 81908, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Schwerdt, Guido & Messer, Dolores & Woessmann, Ludger & Wolter, Stefan C., 2012. "The impact of an adult education voucher program: Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(7-8), pages 569-583.
    15. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii & Miana Plesca, 2012. "Occupational Mobility and the Returns to Training," Working Papers tecipa-444, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    16. Harry Holzer, 2012. "Good workers for good jobs: improving education and workforce systems in the US," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-19, December.
    17. Dolores Messer & Guido Schwerdt & Ludger Woessmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2013. "Labor Market Effects of Adult Education Vouchers: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0094, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job Training; Program Evaluation; Workforce Investment Act; Matching;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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