Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2116139
 


 



Soft Skills or Hard Cash? The Impact of Training and Wage Subsidy Programs on Female Youth Employment in Jordan


Matthew Groh


World Bank

Nandini Krishnan


affiliation not provided to SSRN

David McKenzie


World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Tara Vishwanath


World Bank - Economic Development Institute

July 1, 2012

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6141

Abstract:     
Throughout the Middle East, unemployment rates of educated youth have been persistently high and female labor force participation, low. This paper studies the impact of a randomized experiment in Jordan designed to assist female community college graduates find employment. One randomly chosen group of graduates was given a voucher that would pay an employer a subsidy equivalent to the minimum wage for up to 6 months if they hired the graduate; a second group was invited to attend 45 hours of employability skills training designed to provide them with the soft skills employers say graduates often lack; a third group was offered both interventions; and the fourth group forms the control group. The analysis finds that the job voucher led toa 40 percentage point increase in employment in the short-run, but that most of this employment is not formal, and that the average effect is much smaller and no longer statistically significant 4 months after the voucher period has ended. The voucher does appear to have persistent impacts outside the capital, where it almost doubles the employment rate of graduates, but this appears likely to largely reflect displacement effects. Soft-skills training has no average impact on employment, although again there is a weakly significant impact outside the capital. The authors elicit the expectations of academics and development professionals to demonstrate that these findings are novel and unexpected. The results suggest that wage subsidies can help increase employment in the short term, but are not a panacea for the problems of high urban female youth unemployment.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

Keywords: Tertiary Education, Labor Markets, Labor Policies, Primary Education, Access to Finance

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Date posted: July 24, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Groh, Matthew and Krishnan, Nandini and McKenzie, David and Vishwanath, Tara, Soft Skills or Hard Cash? The Impact of Training and Wage Subsidy Programs on Female Youth Employment in Jordan (July 1, 2012). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6141. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2116139

Contact Information

Matthew Groh (Contact Author)
World Bank ( email )
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States
Nandini Krishnan
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
David John McKenzie
World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )
1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Tara Vishwanath
World Bank - Economic Development Institute ( email )
1818 H Street
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-1152 (Phone)
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