Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes Among Youth? Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rio De Janeiro

46 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2014

See all articles by Carla Calero

Carla Calero

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Carlos Henrique Leite Corseuil

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA)

Veronica Gonzales

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Jochen Kluve

RWI; Humboldt University of Berlin; IZA

Yuri Soares

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

Abstract

This paper provides findings of a small-scale, innovative labor training program that uses expressive arts and theatre as a pedagogical tool. The corresponding life skills training component is combined with a technical component teaching vocational skills. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of a training program constructed around expressive arts. Using a randomized assignment of favela youth into program and control groups, we look at the short-run treatment effects on a comprehensive set of outcomes including employment and earnings as well as measures of personality traits and risk behavior.We find positive short-run employment and earnings impacts five months after the program finalized; no impacts are found for shorter periods. These short-run impacts are economically very large, compared to those typically found in the literature: a 33.3 per cent increase in the probability of being employed, and a 23.6 per cent increase in earnings. We find no evidence of significant program impacts on other outcomes, including personality-related traits, providing evidence that these traits may not be malleable for young adults in the short-run. We argue that the estimated labor market impacts are due to a combination of both skills formation and signaling of higher quality workers to employers.

Keywords: labor market training, youths, randomized controlled trial, life skills

JEL Classification: J24, J68, I38

Suggested Citation

Calero, Carla and Leite Corseuil, Carlos Henrique and Gonzales, Veronica and Kluve, Jochen and Kluve, Jochen and Soares, Yuri, Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes Among Youth? Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rio De Janeiro. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8210, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2448786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2448786

Carla Calero (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Carlos Henrique Leite Corseuil

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) ( email )

Av. Presidente Antonio Carlos 51
14 andar, Castelo
RJ 20020-010 Rio de Janeiro
Brazil
+55 21 3804-8000 (Phone)
+55 21 2240-1920 (Fax)

Veronica Gonzales

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Jochen Kluve

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

Spandauer Str. 1
Berlin, D-10099
Germany

RWI ( email )

Essen
Germany

IZA

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

Yuri Soares

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

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