Effects of Adult Education Vouchers on the Labor Market: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment

35 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2011

See all articles by Guido Schwerdt

Guido Schwerdt

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics

Dolores Messer

University of Bern

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Stefan C. Wolter

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF); University of Bern - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 31, 2011

Abstract

Lifelong learning is often promoted in ageing societies, but little is known about its returns or governments’ ability to advance it. This paper evaluates the effects of a large-scale randomized field experiment issuing vouchers for adult education in Switzerland. We find no significant average effects of voucher-induced adult education on earnings, employment, and subsequent education one year after treatment. But effects are heterogeneous: Low-education individuals are most likely to profit from adult education, but least likely to use the voucher. The findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of existing untargeted voucher programs in promoting labor market outcomes through adult education.

Keywords: field experiment, voucher, adult education, LATE, Switzerland

JEL Classification: I22, J24, H43, C93, M53

Suggested Citation

Schwerdt, Guido and Messer, Dolores and Woessmann, Ludger and Wolter, Stefan C., Effects of Adult Education Vouchers on the Labor Market: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment (January 31, 2011). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3331. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1756670

Guido Schwerdt

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 10
78457 Konstanz
Germany

Dolores Messer

University of Bern ( email )

Gesellschaftsstrasse 49
CH-3012 Bern, BERN 3001
Switzerland

Ludger Woessmann (Contact Author)

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Schackstr. 4
Munich, 80539
Germany

Stefan C. Wolter

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF) ( email )

CH - 5000 Aarau
Switzerland
+41 62 835 23 90 (Phone)
+41 62 835 23 99 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.skbf-csre.ch

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

Gesellschaftstrasse 49
Bern, CH-3012
Switzerland
+41 31 631 40 95 (Phone)
+41 31 631 39 92 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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