Choosing to Be Trained: Evidence from a Field Experiment

40 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2012

See all articles by Utteeyo Dasgupta

Utteeyo Dasgupta

Wagner College-Department of Economics

Lata Gangadharan

Monash University

Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics

Subha Mani

Fordham University - Fordham College at Rose Hill; Population Studies Center; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Samyukta Subramanian


Date Written: July 2012


This paper combines unique experimental and survey data to examine the determinants of self-selection into a training program. Women residing in selected disadvantaged areas in New Delhi, India were invited to apply for a six-month long subsidized training program in stitching and tailoring. A random subset of applicants and non-applicants to the training program were invited to participate in an artefactual field experiment and in a detailed socio-economic survey. We find that applicants and non-applicants differ both in terms of socio-economic characteristics (elicited through survey data), and behavioral traits (elicited using a field experiment). Identifying these characteristics can help policy-makers design and promote programs so as to make them more appealing to the target group, and thus improve take-up rates. Our results also suggest that as a methodology, there is valuable information to be gained by dissecting the black box of unobservables using behavioral data from experiments.

Keywords: Selection, Field Experiment, Household Survey, Risk, Competition

JEL Classification: J24, C93, C81

Suggested Citation

Dasgupta, Utteeyo and Gangadharan, Lata and Maitra, Pushkar and Mani, Subha and Subramanian, Samyukta, Choosing to Be Trained: Evidence from a Field Experiment (July 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Utteeyo Dasgupta (Contact Author)

Wagner College-Department of Economics ( email )

Staten Island, NY 10301
United States

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Lata Gangadharan

Monash University ( email )

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Clayton, Victoria 3800

Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
61 3 9905 5832 (Phone)
61 3 9905 5476 (Fax)

Subha Mani

Fordham University - Fordham College at Rose Hill ( email )

United States

Population Studies Center ( email )

3718 Locust Walk
School of Arts and Sciences
Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania 19104-6298
United States

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )


Samyukta Subramanian

Pratham ( email )

F-110, 1st Floor Aditya
Arcade Community Center
New Delhi

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