The Effects of Working While in School: Evidence from Uruguayan Lotteries

82 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2019 Last revised: 18 Jan 2020

See all articles by Thomas Le Barbanchon

Thomas Le Barbanchon

Bocconi University

Diego Ubfal

Bocconi University; IGIER; Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL)

Federico Araya

Uruguayan Ministry of Labor and Social Security

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Date Written: January 15, 2020

Abstract

We provide the first estimates of the effects of working while in school that use controlled random variation in job offers. We leverage a Uruguayan program offering 9-to-12-month part-time employment in state-owned companies by lottery to enrolled students. Using social security data matched to the universe of over 120,000 applicants, we estimate a 9% increase in earnings over the four post-program years for youth completing a program job. We find large positive effects on school enrollment during the program year, consistent with the conditionality of the program and smaller effects in the post-program years. Our time-use survey indicates that students substitute leisure and household chores with work, without significant reductions in studying time. Finally, a decomposition of the earnings effect shows that accumulation of work experience can explain the majority of the increase in earnings.

Keywords: student employment, randomized lottery, program at scale, human capital accumulation

JEL Classification: J08, J22, J24, I21, I28

Suggested Citation

Le Barbanchon, Thomas and Ubfal, Diego and Araya, Federico, The Effects of Working While in School: Evidence from Uruguayan Lotteries (January 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3398385 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3398385

Thomas Le Barbanchon

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Diego Ubfal (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

IGIER ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) ( email )

66 bis avenue Jean Moulin
Paris, 75014
France

Federico Araya

Uruguayan Ministry of Labor and Social Security ( email )

Uruguay

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