Title: On youth training and better job quality: evidence from Job Corps
Authors: German Blanco - Illinois State University (United States) [presenting]
Alfonso Flores-Lagunes - Syracuse University (United States)
Abstract: Most of the economics literature uses monetary compensation as a proxy for job quality. Although active labor market programs generally aim to improve the future quality of life of participants, the evaluation focuses on employment and earnings. We analyze the causal effect of a U.S. job training program for youth---Job Corps (JC)---on future job quality. We define job quality as a linear index that reduces a vector of job characteristics to a scalar quantity. Our index is consistent with the view that workers evaluate a job as a bundle of attributes. Since our index is continuous, we evaluate the distributional impacts of Job Corps training. Given that job quality is defined only for the employed, we address the selection problem by estimating nonparametric bounds on the effects of JC participation for the latent group of individuals that comply with their treatment assignment and would be employed regardless of training. We find that JC has substantial effects on the average quality of jobs attained that are bounded between 14\% and 36\% of a standard deviation in our job quality index. The distributional analysis suggests that the effects are heterogeneous over the distribution of the job quality index. We also document that females and older participants appear to experience stronger effects relative to males and younger participants, and that this may be driven by experiencing greater access to certain fringe benefits (e.g., flexible work hours and child care).