Wage Employment


Original abstracts from the papers in the database are provided below. All abstracts are drawn directly from the papers referenced. Links to access the papers are provided, although
the papers may also be available from other web sources. By providing links to other sites, the United Nations Foundation and ExxonMobil Foundation do not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information or products available on these sites.

  • Has Training Helped Employ Xiagang in China? A Tale from Two Cities

    Bidani, Coh and O'Leary (2002)

    Original abstract:

    This study evaluates the effectiveness of training programs for workers retrenched from Chinese state-owned enterprises in the cities of Shenyang and Wuhan. A variety of impact estimators were applied, however ordinary least squares (OLS) controlling for observable characteristic s was robust. We find that training dampens reemployment prospects in Shenyang but improves them in Wuhan. Training impact estimates computed by propensity score and log odds ratio matching imposing various support condition rules, yielded estimates very similar to those from the OLS. The estimates suggest that participation in training reduces the probability of being employed one year after participation by about 6 percentage points in Shenyang, but increases the employment likelihood by about 8 percentage points in Wuhan. Among those who are reemployed, training does not have any effect on earnings.

    Intervention settings: Urban (Shenyang and Wuhan).

    Intervention description: Retraining and job search assistance, administered by local labor bureaus, to promote labor market entry of people laid off by state-owned enterprises. One month training courses in computer training, beauty and massage, hair cutting, sewing, toy making, cooking, repair training and driver education. Class sizes during the training sessions were often large with 200 to 300 workers in a small classroom.

    Methodology: Three different treatment/comparison group samples analyzed using multiple methodologies that include prop score matching, matching on odds-ratios and OLS.

    Sample: Adults.

    Findings: Positive impact on employment probability in Wuhan. No effect on earning in Shenyang. Negative effect on employment probability in Shenyang.

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  • Child Care and Women's Labor Force Participation in Romania

    Fong and Lokshin (2000)

    Original abstract:

    The paper models the household demand for child care and mothers' labor force participation and working hours in Romania. The model estimates the effects of the price of child care, the mother's wage, and household income on household behavior with respect to child care and mother's employment. We found that both the maternal decision to become employed and the decision to use out-of-home care are sensitive to the price of child care. A decrease in the price of care can increase the number of working mothers and thus can reduce poverty in some households. We also found that the potential market wage of the mother has a significant positive effect on the decision to purchase market care and on the decision to engage in paid employment. The level of household non-wage income has little effect on the maternal employment and on the demand for child care. In addition to facilitating the work of women, kindergartens and cre_ches appear to play an important role in providing educational and social benefits for children: close to half of the children in these facilities having mothers who do not work. Further research is needed to assess the nature and cost of these benefits, and determine the roles of the public and the private sector in the provision, finance and regulation of such services for working and non-working mothers.

    Intervention settings: Urban.

    Intervention description: Skill training and/or vouchers for workfare participants to give to prospective employers (18 month wage subsidy).

    Methodology: Model to estimate effects of child care cost, mother's wage, and HH income on HH behavior relating to child care and mothers working outside home.

    Sample:

    Findings: Maternal decision to take job and decision to use out-of-home care are sensitive to child care price. Decrease in child care price increases number of mothers who work (and reduce poverty in some HH). Potential market wage of mother has positive effect on decision to purchase market care and engage in paid employment. HH non-wage income little effect on maternal employment and demand for child care.

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  • Social Protection in a Crisis: Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas

    Galasso and Ravaillion (2004)

    Original abstract:

    The authors assess the impact of Argentina's main social policy response to the severe economic crisis of 2002. The program aimed to provide direct income support for families with dependents, for whom the head had become unemployed due to the crisis. Counterfactual comparisons are based on a matched subset of applicants not yet receiving the program. Panel data spanning the crisis are also used. The authors find that the program reduced aggregate unemployment, though it attracted as many people into the workforce from inactivity, as it did people who would have been otherwise unemployed. While there was substantial leakage to formally ineligible families, and incomplete coverage of those eligible, the program did partially compensate many losers from the crisis, and reduced extreme poverty.

    Intervention settings: Urban.

    Intervention description: Participants worked 20 hours per week in community work, training, school attendance or employment at a private company and in exchange received direct income support.

    Methodology: Cross-sectional and difference-in-difference propensity score matching.

    Sample: Heads of households with dependents who became unemployed as a result of Argentina's economic crisis in 2003.

    Findings: 26% of participants would have been unemployed and 23% would have been inactive without program. Study found substantial leakage to ineligibles, but the program was still well targeted at the poor.

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  • Assisting the Transition from Workfare to Work: A Randomized Experiment in Argentina

    Galasso, Ravaillion and Salvia (2001)

    Original abstract:

    Randomly sampled workfare participants in a welfare-dependent region of Argentina were given a voucher that entitled an employer to a sizable wage subsidy. A second sample also received the option of skill training while a third sample formed the control group. Double-difference and instrumental- variables methods were used to deal with potential experimental biases, including selective compliance with the randomized assignment. Compared to the control group, voucher recipients had a significantly higher probability of employment, though their current incomes were no higher. The impact was largely confined to women and younger workers. Labor supply effects appear to have been important. Training had no significant impact. The experiment was cost effective, given that take-up of the subsidy by employers was low.

    Intervention settings: Urban.

    Intervention description: Skill training and/or vouchers for workfare participants to give to prospective employers (18 month wage subsidy).

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: Adult beneficiaries of temporary employment programs.

    Findings: Voucher reduced probability of unemployment (despite fact that few firms made use of the voucher). Private sector employment was 15% for voucher recipients compared to 9% for controls. Women and younger workers had largest impacts.

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  • Estimating the Benefit Incidence of an Anti-Poverty Program using Propensity Score Matching

    Jalan and Ravaililon (2003)

    Original abstract:

    We apply recent advances in propensity-score matching (PSM) to the problem of estimating the distribution of net income gains from an Argentinean workfare program. PSM has a number of attractive features in this context, including the need to allow for heterogeneous impacts while optimally weighting observed characteristics when forming a comparison group. The average direct gain to the participant is found to be about half the gross wage. Over half of the beneficiaries are in the poorest decile nationally, and 80% are in the poorest quintile. Our PSM estimator is reasonably robust to a number of changes in methodology.

    Intervention settings: Urban.

    Intervention description: Local governments and nongovernmental organizations submitted proposals for "socially useful projects," which were then ranked according to some criteria. Projects last at most six months.

    Methodology: Nearest neighbor propensity score matching.

    Sample: Lower average income, higher average family size, more likely to have borrowed to meet their basic needs, receives less from informal sources and more likely to participate in some form of political organization.

    Findings: Average gain in household income for participants was $103 dollars, with greater gains for younger people.

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