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

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.

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File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2010/WP1003_mueser.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 1003.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: 15 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in the IZA Journal of Labor Economics as "Do Public Employment and Training Programs Work?"
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:1003
Note: Update of WP0901
Contact details of provider: Postal: 118 Professional Building, Columbia, MO 65211
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Fax: (573) 882-2697
Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/

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  1. Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2006. "Are Training Programs More Effective When Unemployment Is High?," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2006 2006-23, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  2. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 485, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2006. "Evaluating the Differential Effects of Alternative Welfare-to-Work Training Components: A Reanalysis of the California GAIN Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 521-566, July.
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  7. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," NBER Technical Working Papers 0325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
  9. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Alexey Gorislavsky, 2006. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," Working Papers 0702, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
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  11. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
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  16. Steven Glazerman Dan Levy David Myers, 2003. "Nonexperimental Versus Experimental Estimates of Earnings Impacts," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7c8bd68ac8db47caa57c70ee1, Mathematica Policy Research.
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  20. Dyke, Andrew & Heinrich, Carolyn J. & Mueser, Peter R. & Troske, Kenneth, 2005. "The Effects of Welfare-to-Work Program Activities on Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Deborah N Peikes & Lorenzo Moreno & Sean Michael Orzol, 2008. "Propensity Score Matching: A Note of Caution for Evaluators of Social Programs," Mathematica Policy Research Reports dd0866e4646a4e0ea77079d5b, Mathematica Policy Research.
  22. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
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  25. Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Swedish System of Active Labor Market Programs in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 133-155, February.
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