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Do Youth Employment Programs Improve Labor Market Outcomes? A Systematic Review

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  • Kluve, Jochen
  • Puerto, Susanna
  • Robalino, David
  • Romero, José Manuel
  • Rother, Friederike
  • Stöterau, Jonathan
  • Weidenkaff, Felix
  • Witte, Marc

Abstract

This study reviews the evidence on the labor market impact of youth employment programs. We analyze the effectiveness of interventions, and factors that influence program performance including country context, target beneficiaries, program design, implementation, and evaluation type. We identify 113 impact evaluations covering a wide range of methodologies, interventions, and countries. The meta-analysis synthesizes the evidence based on 2,259 effect sizes (Standardized Mean Differences) and the statistical significance of 3,105 impact estimates (Positive and Statistically Significant). Just more than one-third of youth employment program evaluations worldwide show a significant positive impact on labor market outcomes - either employment rates or earnings. In general, programs have been more successful in middle- and low-income countries; this may be because programs' investments are especially helpful for the most vulnerable population groups that they target. We conjecture that recent programs might have benefited from innovations in design and implementation. In middle-low income countries, skills training and entrepreneurship programs have had a higher impact. In high-income countries, the role of intervention type is less decisive - much depends on context and how services are chosen and delivered, a result that holds across country types. We find evidence that programs integrating multiple interventions more likely succeed because they respond better to different needs of beneficiaries. Results also point to the importance of profiling and follow-up systems in determining program performance, as well as to incentive systems for services providers.

Suggested Citation

  • Kluve, Jochen & Puerto, Susanna & Robalino, David & Romero, José Manuel & Rother, Friederike & Stöterau, Jonathan & Weidenkaff, Felix & Witte, Marc, 2016. "Do Youth Employment Programs Improve Labor Market Outcomes? A Systematic Review," Ruhr Economic Papers 648, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:648
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Nilsson, 2017. "The School-to-work transition in developing countries," Working Papers DT/2017/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    2. Hernaes, Øystein, 2018. "Distributional Effects of Welfare Reform for Young Adults: An Unconditional Quantile Regression Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 11340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Eichhorst, Werner & Rinne, Ulf, 2016. "Promoting Youth Employment in Europe: Evidence-based Policy Lessons," IZA Policy Papers 119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Marchand, J. & Smeeding, T., 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
      • Marchand, Joseph & Smeeding, Timothy, 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Working Papers 2016-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 20 Nov 2016.
    5. Brudevold-Newman, Andrew & Honorati, Maddalena & Jakiela, Pamela & Ozier, Owen, 2017. "A Firm of One's Own: Experimental Evidence on Credit Constraints and Occupational Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 10583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Werner Eichhorst & Ulf Rinne, 2017. "The European Youth Guarantee: A Preliminary Assessment and Broader Conceptual Implications," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 18(2), pages 34-38, July.
    7. Abebe, Girum & Caria, Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel & Falco, Paolo & Franklin, Simon & Quinn, Simon, 2017. "Anonymity of distance? Job search and labour market exclusion in a growing African city," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86573, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. World Bank, 2017. "Coding Bootcamps," World Bank Other Operational Studies 28218, The World Bank.
    9. Egbert Jongen & Emile Cammeraat & Pierre Koning, 2017. "Preventing NEETs During the Great Recession: The Effects of a Mandatory Activation Program for Young Welfare Recipients," CPB Discussion Paper 365, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    youth employment; active labor market policy; systematic review; meta-analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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