Living Up to Expectations: How Job Training Made Women Better Off and Men Worse Off

35 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017

See all articles by Paloma Acevedo

Paloma Acevedo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Guillermo Cruces

Universidad Nacional de La Plata - Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS); IZA

Paul J. Gertler

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sebastian Martinez

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

We study the interaction between job and soft skills training on expectations and labor market outcomes in the context of a youth training program in the Dominican Republic. Program applicants were randomly assigned to one of 3 modalities: a full treatment consisting of hard and soft skills training plus an internship, a partial treatment consisting of soft skills training plus an internship, or a control group. We find strong and lasting effects of the program on personal skills acquisition and expectations, but these results are markedly different for young men and young women. Shortly after completing the program, both male and female participants report increased expectations for improved employment and livelihoods. This result is reversed for male participants in the long run, a result that can be attributed to the program’s negative short-run effects on labor market outcomes for males. While these effects seem to dissipate in the long run, employed men are substantially more likely to be searching for another job. On the other hand, women experience improved labor market outcomes in the short run and exhibit substantially higher levels of personal skills in the long run. These results translate into women being more optimistic, having higher self-esteem and lower fertility in the long run. Our results suggest that job-training programs of this type can be transformative – for women, life skills mattered and made a difference, but they can also have a downside if, like in this case for men, training creates expectations that are not met.

Suggested Citation

Acevedo, Paloma and Cruces, Guillermo and Gertler, Paul J. and Martinez, Sebastian, Living Up to Expectations: How Job Training Made Women Better Off and Men Worse Off (March 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23264. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2941242

Paloma Acevedo (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Guillermo Cruces

Universidad Nacional de La Plata - Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) ( email )

Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y
Sociales, Calle 6 e/47 y 48
La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires 1900
Argentina

HOME PAGE: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar

IZA

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

Paul J. Gertler

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-1418 (Phone)
510-642-4700 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sebastian Martinez

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Ave
Washington, DC 20011
United States

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