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Evaluating Job Training in Two Chinese Cities

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Abstract

Recent years have seen a surge in the evidence on the impacts of active labor market programs for numerous countries. However, little evidence has been presented on the effectiveness of such programs in China. Recent economic reforms, associated massive lay-offs, and accompanying public retraining programs make China fertile ground for rigorous impact evaluations. This study evaluates retraining programs for laid-off workers in the cities of Shenyang and Wuhan using a comparison group design. To our knowledge, this is the first evaluation of its kind in China. The evidence suggests that retraining helped workers find jobs in Wuhan, but had little effect in Shenyang. However, in terms of earnings impacts, retraining appears to have increased earnings in Shenyang but not in Wuhan. The study raises questions about the overall effectiveness of retraining expenditures, and it offers some directions for policymakers about future interventions to help laid-off workers.
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Suggested Citation

  • Benu Bidani & Niels-Hugo Blunch & Chor-ching Goh & Christopher J. O'Leary, "undated". "Evaluating Job Training in Two Chinese Cities," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles cjo2009, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:cjo2009
    Note: Appears in Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies 7(1): 77-94
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    3. Emanuela Galasso & Martin Ravallion & Agustin Salvia, 2004. "Assisting the Transition from Workfare to Work: A Randomized Experiment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(1), pages 128-142, October.
    4. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    5. Dar, Amit & Gill, Indermit S, 1998. "Evaluating Retraining Programs in OECD Countries: Lessons Learned," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 79-101, February.
    6. DiPrete, Thomas A. & Gangl, Markus, 2004. "Assessing bias in the estimation of causal effects: Rosenbaum bounds on matching estimators and instrumental variables estimation with imperfect instruments," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2004-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    7. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    8. Fretwell, David H. & Benus, Jacob & O'Leary, Christopher J., 1999. "Evaluating the impact of active labor programs : results of cross country studies in Europe and Central Asia," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 20131, The World Bank.
    9. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2009. "China - From Poor Areas to Poor People : China’s Evolving Poverty Reduction Agenda - An Assessment of Poverty and Inequality in China," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3031, The World Bank.
    2. World Bank, 2009. "China - From Poor Areas to Poor People : China’s Evolving Poverty Reduction Agenda - An Assessment of Poverty and Inequality in China," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3033, The World Bank.
    3. Zhaoxin Dai & Yunfeng Hu & Guanhua Zhao, 2017. "The Suitability of Different Nighttime Light Data for GDP Estimation at Different Spatial Scales and Regional Levels," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-15, February.
    4. Gordon Betcherman & Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2008. "The limited job prospects of displaced workers: evidence from two cities in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 187-207, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    job training; workforce development; china;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions

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