Choosing to Be Trained: Do Behavioral Traits Matter?

48 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2014

See all articles by Utteeyo Dasgupta

Utteeyo Dasgupta

Fordham University; IZA; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Lata Gangadharan

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

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

Pratham

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the determinants of self-selection into a vocational training program in India. To do this we combine data from an artefactual field experiment with survey data collected from the targeted community. We find that applicants and non-applicants differ in terms of socio-economic characteristics (measured using a survey), as well as selected behavioral traits (elicited using an artefactual field experiment). Even after controlling for a range of socio-economic characteristics, we find that individuals who have higher tolerance for risk, and are more competitive, are more likely to apply to the training program. This suggests that focusing only on the socio-economic and demographic characteristics might not be sufficient to fully explain selection into the program. Participants' behavioral traits are also crucial in influencing take up rates in such programs. Our results suggest that as a methodology, there is valuable information to be gained by dissecting the black box of unobservables using data on behavioral traits.

Keywords: selection, artefactual field experiment, behavioral traits, household survey, training program

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: Do Behavioral Traits Matter?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8581, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2517884 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2517884

Utteeyo Dasgupta (Contact Author)

Fordham University ( email )

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Lata Gangadharan

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

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Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Subha Mani

Fordham University - Fordham College at Rose Hill ( email )

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Samyukta Subramanian

Pratham ( email )

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