Labor Markets and Evaluations of Vocational Training Programs in the Public High Schools - Toward a Framework for Analysis

33 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2004 Last revised: 18 Jul 2010

See all articles by Alan L. Gustman

Alan L. Gustman

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas L. Steinmeier

Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography

Date Written: May 1980

Abstract

A simplified model is constructed to analyze the role played by vocational training programs In high schools. The model assumes that there are two kinds of educational programs in high schools, vocational and general. It also assumes that there are two types of jobs for high school graduates. One job requires training that either can be obtained from a vocational program in high school or as general training on the job. The other job has no special training requirements. The model is used in two ways. First, it is used to examine how the equilibrium outcome is affected by limitations on the number of places in the vocational training program and by the minimum wage. Second, it helps to determine what can be. learned from studies that take what has become a standard approach to evaluating high school vocational training programs -- attempting to estimate the productivity of this program by comparing the earnings of vocational and nonvocational program graduates. We conclude that whether or not limitations on enrollments In vocational programs and minimum wages influence the wage difference between vocational and nonvocational program graduates, findings based on the standard approach to cost-benefit analysis of high school vocational training programs may prove to be highly misleading guides for policy.

Suggested Citation

Gustman, Alan L. and Steinmeier, Thomas L., Labor Markets and Evaluations of Vocational Training Programs in the Public High Schools - Toward a Framework for Analysis (May 1980). NBER Working Paper No. w0478, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=262699

Alan L. Gustman (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Thomas L. Steinmeier

Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography ( email )

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United States
806-742-2201 (Phone)

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