Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes Among Youth?

48 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2020

See all articles by Carla Calero

Carla Calero

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Veronica Gonzales

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Yuri Soares

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

Jochen Kluve

Humboldt University of Berlin; RWI; IZA

Carlos Henrique Leite Corseuil

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA)

Date Written: May 25, 2014

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 Gonzales, Veronica and Soares, Yuri and Kluve, Jochen and Leite Corseuil, Carlos Henrique, Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes Among Youth? (May 25, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2471559 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2471559

Carla Calero

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Veronica Gonzales

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Yuri Soares

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Jochen Kluve (Contact Author)

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

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)

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