Latin America and Caribbean

  • Gender and Racial Discrimination in Hiring: A Pseudo Audit Study for Three Selected Occupations in Metropolitan Lima

    Nopo, Robels, and Saavedra (2007)

    Original Abstract:

    In this paper, we adapt the audit studies methodology to analyze gender and racial differences in hiring for a particular segment of the market of three selected occupations in Metropolitan Lima: salespersons, secretaries and (accounting and administrative) assistants. The adapted pseudo-audit study methodology allows us to reduce the room for existence of statistical discrimination. The results suggest the existence of no significant differences in hiring rates for different gender-race groups but some systematic (and significant) differences in the aimed wages of the individuals in their job search processes.

    Intervention settings: Urban

    Intervention description: Provides classroom training and internships lasting three months. Trainees receive stipend during training period, with mothers of young children receiving double stipend. Focus on training females for traditionally male occupations.

    Methodology: Two-stage matching procedure that first selects for each treated a matched control on the basis of similarity in preprogram hourly wages

    Sample: Technicians and professionals from middle and lower classes in Lima; 80% have an above high-school education.

    Findings: Positive employment impacts for women of 6% at 12 months and 15% at 18 months. Negative impacts for men. After 18 months, beneficiary females generate 93% more labor income than their control counterparts. Decrease in measures of occupational segregation.

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  • The Impact of Mexico's Retraining Program on Employment and Wages

    Revenga, Riboud, and Tan (1994)

    Original Abstract:

    This paper analyzes the impact and effectiveness of the Mexican Labor Retraining Program for Unemployed and Displaced Workers (PROBECAT). The strategy followed is to compare the post- training labor market experiences of trainees with those of a comparison group--a matched sample of unemployed individuals who were eligible for, but did not participate in, the PROBECAT program. The results of this exercise suggest that participation in PROBECAT reduced the mean duration of unemployment for both male and female trainees, and increased the monthly earnings of males, but not offemales. Theresultsalsoindicatethatthepost-training earnings effect varied systematically by level of schooling attainment, with the largest earnings increases (of about 28 to 37 percent) found for males with 6 to 12 years of education.

    Intervention settings: Urban

    Intervention description: Short-term vocational education training.

    Methodology: Cox proportional hazards model estimated on participants and matched nonparticipants (based on propensity score).

    Sample: Youth and adults. Offered to 250,000 registered unemployed people age 20-55, selected on basis of eligibility index.

    Findings: Program trainees found jobs more quickly. Impacts mainly for trainees older than 25 with work experience. Cost effective for women over 25, but not for younger women.

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  • The Guatemala Community Day Care Program

    Ruel and Quisumbing (2006)

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Parents select one mother to be day care provider for up to 10 children, enabling other mothers to work.

    Methodology: Matching.

    Sample: Guatemala City, with poverty-based eligibility criteria. Mothers had to work to qualify for the program.

    Findings: Increased mothers' incomes (30%) and improved children's diets. Largest impacts among women with lower education.

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  • How Can Job Opportunities for Young People in Latin America be Improved?

    Gonzalez-Velosa et al (2012)

    Original Abstract:

    Job training programs for vulnerable youth are the main response of Latin American governments to address the problem of inadequate employment opportunities for young people. Despite its importance, knowledge about these programs is scarce. This study contributes to filling this gap in the literature by presenting new evidence on the effectiveness of six of these programs operating or that were implemented in Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Dominican Republic. This analysis uses the results of impact evaluations of these programs and the results of qualitative surveys of young participants and employers, and in-depth interviews to training centers, employers and policy makers. The main results confirm the limited evidence available, namely, that these programs have little impact on the probability of getting a job (although there is a high heterogeneity in these impacts), but a significant impact on job quality. From this analysis, we propose a research agenda to improve knowledge on the functioning and impact of these programs, and provide a series of recommendations to improve the design and increase the effectiveness of youth training programs.

    Intervention settings: Mixed

    Intervention description: Vocational classroom and on-the-job training and job placement.

    Methodology: RCT

    Sample: Youth and adults. Offered to men and women 16-29 years old from lower socioeconomic strata, and those meeting educational and skill requirements of participating firms.

    Findings: 7%-12% increase in employment for women only. Three to seven hours per week increase in weekly hours worked for women only. Especially successful in countries with established private vocational training industry, significant wage employment and high female mobility.

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  • Life Skills, Employability and Training for Disadvantaged Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation Design

    Ibarraran et al (2012)

    Original Abstract:

    This paper presents an impact evaluation of a revamped version of the Dominican youth training program Juventud y Empleo. The paper analyzes the impact of the program on traditional labor market outcomes and on outcomes related to youth behavior and life style, expectations about the future and socio-emotional skills. In terms of labor market outcomes, the program has a positive impact on job formality for men of about 17 percent and there is also a seven percent increase in monthly earnings among those employed. However, there are no overall impacts on employment rates. Regarding non-labor market outcomes, the program reduces teenage pregnancy by five percentage points in the treatment group (about 45 percent), which is consistent with an overall increase in youth expectations about the future. The program also has a positive impact on non-cognitive skills as measured by three different scales. Scores improve between 0.08 and 0.16 standard deviations with the program. Although recent progress noted in the literature suggests that socio-emotional skills increase employability and quality of employment, the practical significance of the impacts is unclear, as there is only weak evidence that the life skills measures used are associated to better labor market performance. This is an area of growing interest and relevance that requires further research.

    Intervention settings: Mixed

    Intervention description: Vocational classroom and on-the-job training and job placement.

    Methodology: RCT

    Sample: Youth and adults. Offered to men and women 16-29 years old from lower socioeconomic strata, and those meeting educational and skill requirements of participating firms.

    Findings: 7%-12% increase in employment for women only. Three to seven hours per week increase in weekly hours worked for women only. Especially successful in countries with established private vocational training industry, significant wage employment and high female mobility.

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  • The Impact of Training Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case of Programa Joven

    Aedo and Nunez (2004)

    Original Abstract:

    This research evaluates the "Programa Joven", a training program conducted by the Ministerio del Trabajo of Argentina. We adapt and apply a non-experimental evaluation methodology to answer the following questions: Does "Programa Joven" increase the labor income of the trainees? Does "Programa Joven" increase the probability of being employed? And (3) what is the rate of return to dollars spent on the "Programa Joven"? We used Propensity Scores Matching Estimators as our basic methodology to obtain a measure of the impact of the training program. Our choice of this methodological approach was based upon both the theoretical developments in the area of Program Evaluation and the availability of relevant information. We used three different set of data to estimate the Propensity Scores which allowed us to analyze the question on how sensitive Program impact estimates are to different propensity score specifications? This question has not been addressed by the previous literature. Our results indicate first, that Program impact on earnings were statistically significant for young males and adult females. This result was not sensitive to the number of nearest neighbors. Second, the estimated Program impact on employment was statistically significant for adult females only. Again the result was not sensitive to the number of nearest neighbors. Third, impact estimates on earnings and employment for the groups with statistically significant results were not sensitive to the different sources of information used to estimate the propensity scores. This was a surprising result as we expected to observe greater variability in the impact results across different propensity score specifications. Fourth, the cost-benefit exercise conducted suggest that we required at least 9 years of duration of the earnings impact for the Program to have a positive net present value for the groups with statistically significant results.

    Intervention settings: Rural and urban (across 11 regions)

    Intervention description: Provides an average of 200 hours of training over 14-20 weeks (classroom followed by internship), a monetary subsidy for females with children, transportation expenses, medical checkups, books, materials and work clothing.

    Methodology: Cross-sectional propensity score matching using program beneficiaries and eligible non-participants.

    Sample: Young people from poor households with low education levels and little work experience, who were unemployed or inactive.

    Findings: Positive employment impacts for women of 6% at 12 months, and 15% at 18 months. Beneficiary women generate 93% more labor income than their control counterparts. Decrease in measures of occupational segregation. Negative employment impacts for men.

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  • Medium and Long Run Effects of Nutrition and Child Care: Evaluation of a Community Nursery Programme in Rural Colombia

    Attanasio and Vera-Hernandez (2004)

    Original Abstract:

    In this paper we evaluate the effect of a large nutrition programme in rural Colombia on children nutritional status, school achievement and female labour supply. We find that the programme has very large and positive impacts. Dealing with the endogeneity of treatment is crucial, as the poorest children tend to select into the programme. Methods like Propensity Score Matching would even yield negative estimates of the impact of the program. Our results are robust to the use of instruments that do not depend on individual household choices. We also validate our evaluation strategy by considering the effect of the program on pre-intervention variables. Further, we explore the heterogeneity of the impact of the programme. Children from the poorest backgrounds are the ones that benefit the most.

    Intervention settings: Rural.

    Intervention description: Community nurseries where poor children receive food (purchased by government) and chid care from one of the mothers in the community.

    Methodology: Instrumental variables using distance to nearest center as an instrument.

    Sample: Poor households, based on an eligibility score.

    Findings: Increase in probability of women's employment (0.12 to 0.37) and hours worked (by 75/month.) Positive impact on children's height and grades.

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  • Subsidizing Vocational Training for Disadvantaged Youth in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

    Attanasio et al (2011)

    Original Abstract:

    This paper evaluates the impact of a randomized training program for disadvantaged youth introduced in Colombia in 2005. This randomized trial offers a unique opportunity to examine the impact of training in developing countries. We use originally collected data on individuals randomly offered and not offered training. The program raises earnings and employment, especially for women. Women offered training earn 18% more and have a 0.05 higher probability of employment than those not offered training, mainly in formal sector jobs. Cost- benefit analysis of these results suggests that the program generates much larger net gains than those found in developed countries.

    Intervention settings: Urban

    Intervention description: Three months in-classroom training and three months of on-the-job training. Courses provided vocational skills in a diverse number of occupations (including taxi and bus drivers, office assistants, call center operators, medical assistants, textile operators, carpentry assistants, etc.) On-the-job training was provided by legally registered (formal sector) companies, via unpaid internships. Trainees received a daily stipend of $2.20 ($3 for women with children under 7).

    Methodology: RCT

    Sample: Unemployed young people placed in lowest two deciles of income distribution.

    Findings: 11% increase in likelihood to be in paid employment. Wage and salary earnings increase by 18%. Controlling for training institution fixed effects and pre-treatment characteristics: Female trainees' probability of paid employment 19-21 months after program increased by 5% relative to the control group. Women worked an average of 1.1 more days/month and 2.5 more hours/week than women in the control group and earned 18% more than women who didn't receive the training. Impact on total labor income not reported.

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  • Training Disadvantaged Youth in Latin America: Evidence From a Randomized Trial

    Attanasio, Kugler and Meghir (2008)

    Original Abstract:

    Youth unemployment in Latin America is exceptionally high, as much as 50% among the poor. Vocational training may be the best chance to help unemployed young people at the bottom of the income distribution. This paper evaluates the impact of a randomized training program for disadvantaged youth introduced in Colombia in 2005 on the employment and earnings of trainees. This is one of a couple of randomized training trials conducted in developing countries and, thus, offers a unique opportunity to examine the causal impact of training in a developing country context. We use originally collected data on individuals randomly offered and not offered training. We find that the program raises earnings and employment for both men and women, with larger effects on women. Women offered training earn about 18% more than those not offered training, while men offered training earn about 8% more than men not offered training. Much of the earnings increases for both men and women are related to increased employment in formal sector jobs following training. The benefits of training are greater when individuals spend more time doing on-the-job training, while hours of training in the classroom have no impact on the returns to training. Cost-benefit analysis of these results suggests that the program generates a large net gain, especially for women.

    Intervention settings: Urban

    Intervention description: Three months of classroom training followed by three months of OJT in the form of unpaid internship, with 1009 companies participating.

    Methodology: RCT

    Sample: Unemployed youth from families in the two lowest deciles of the income distribution, from 2001-2005.

    Findings: Increased earnings for men and women, with the largest effects for women. Earnings for women increased on average 18%. Men and women who were offered training (intent-to-treat estimates) were more likely to be employed and to have jobs that offered benefits and to have a formal wage contract. Benefits of OJT found to be higher than that of classroom training.

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  • The Impact of Access to Free Childcare on Women's Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Low-Income Neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro

    Barros et al (2011)

    Intervention settings: Urban.

    Intervention description: Publicly provided child care.

    Methodology: Program assignment originally based on a lottery, with lottery winners getting program and losers being put on waiting list.

    Sample: Poor mothers.

    Findings: Increase in use of care (51% to 94%), mothers' employment (36%-46%) - especially among mothers not working six months before lottery (97%).

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