Learning but Not Earning? The Value of Job Corps Training for Hispanic Youths

Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, University of Arizona
Arturo Gonzalez, Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)
Todd Neumann, University of Arizona

The National Job Corps Study (NJCS) was a four-year randomized longitudinal study. Using experimental estimators, Job Corps was found to have positive impacts in the weekly earnings of white and black participants, but not for Hispanics. We consider explanations for why Job Corps does not increase the earnings of Hispanics. First, we show that the randomization in the NJCS failed to create comparable treatment and control groups for Hispanics. We then apply alternative estimators to the Hispanic subsample but still find statistically insignificant effects of Job Corps. Finally, we advance an explanation to the lack of benefits for Hispanics through the estimation of the “net treatment effect”: non-treated Hispanics earn a significant amount of labor market experience during the study compared to treated Hispanics, which translates into higher earnings that Hispanic treated individuals are not able to overcome by the end of the study.

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Presented in Session 137: Race, Ethnicity, Human Capital, and the Labor Market