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Thailand's vocational training and upward mobility: Impact Heterogeneity and Policy Implications


  • Chongcharoentanawat, Patima

    () (UNU-MERIT)

  • Gassmann, Franziska

    () (UNU-MERIT)

  • Mohnen, Pierre

    () (UNU-MERIT)


This paper provides the first impact evaluation of vocational training in Thailand using various treatment effect methods with unique longitudinal survey data, covering seven years, to evaluate the impact of vocational training on economic and social mobility in the short, medium and long term. We find that vocational training fails to move participants upward both in terms of earning and employment. However, training participation is found to increase expenditures in the short and medium term but these positive impacts vanish when we strictly confine counterfactuals or allow for the endogeneity of the decision to attend the programme. We also examine the heterogeneity of effects with respect to individual and programme characteristics to answer the questions for whom the training works and which type of training works best. The results suggest that women, rural residents, youth (aged 15-24) and elderly (aged 60 and above), low-educated workers, and economically inactive people, benefit less from the programme. With regard to heterogeneity by type of training, we find that computer training courses, training offered by private institutions and a cooperation of government and private agencies, and training financed by employers are associated with better outcomes.

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  • Chongcharoentanawat, Patima & Gassmann, Franziska & Mohnen, Pierre, 2018. "Thailand's vocational training and upward mobility: Impact Heterogeneity and Policy Implications," MERIT Working Papers 043, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2018043

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    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:116-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Orazio Attanasio & Arlen Guarín & Carlos Medina & Costas Meghir, 2015. "Long Term Impacts of Vouchers for Vocational Training: Experimental Evidence for Colombia," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 013326, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    3. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2010. "Active Labour Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 452-477, November.
    4. Maitra, Pushkar & Mani, Subha, 2017. "Learning and earning: Evidence from a randomized evaluation in India," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 116-130.
    5. David H. Greenberg & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2003. "A Meta-Analysis of Government-Sponsored Training Programs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 31-53, October.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item


    vocational training; socioeconomic upward mobility; human development; impact evaluation; Thailand;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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