Mismatch in vocational training programs (Job market paper)
with Lucas Ferreira Mation, João Bevilaqua T. Basto, and Mark A. Dutz. October 2017.
Abstract: Vocational training programs are often ineffective in raising the employment and earnings of trainees. We assess the degree to which the mismatch between skills trained and skill demand can explain low effectiveness. Using a large-scale government skills training program for unemployed workers in Brazil, we show that a vocational training program that takes input from firms sizeably increases trainees' probability of employment and earnings over the year following course completion relative to an otherwise similar program run at the same time that did not take input from the private sector. Employer input helped align the supply of courses to future growth in skill demand. Trainees who completed courses aligned with faster-growing occupations exhibited larger employment effects. The differential effectiveness of the demand-driven program is explained largely by the change in the composition of courses offered. Filtering of requests by the administrating government office likely also played a role in further increasing program effectiveness.
"Can quotas increase the supply of candidates for higher-level positions? Evidence from local government in India" Revision requested, Review of Economics and Statistics (May 2017).
Abstract: A common argument for quota policies is that they can increase the participation of targeted groups in positions that are not directly subjected to quotas or after quotas are no longer in place. I test this argument empirically in the context of India, where one third of local political leadership seats are randomly assigned to be held by a woman in each election cycle. Quotas increase the number of female candidates who later contest seats in state and national legislatures, where such policies do not exist. The effects can be explained by repeat candidacies of career politicians and new candidacies by politicians who gain particular experience from the quotas. Effect magnitudes imply that the policy accounts for a substantial portion of the increase in female candidates for these bodies since the start of the policy. The new candidates win seats only when they run on major party tickets or contest in areas where their previous constituency overlaps closely with that of the contested seat.
"Political inclusion and educational investment: Estimates from a national policy experiment in India" Revision requested, Journal of Development Economics (Aug 2017).
Abstract: Using exogenous variation in the implementation of seat quotas for women in local government in India, I use nationally representative survey data in a border discontinuity strategy to find a sizable increase in the enrollment rates of female and male schoolage children resulting from additional exposure to female political leaders. I show that the policy response is larger among poorer households and those with less-educated proximate role models and that it was commensurate with reductions in idle time and employment in household enterprises. There is no evidence of changes in school infrastructure, the labor market, or indicators of intrahousehold dynamics. Effects among young women are concentrated in upper primary and lower secondary age groups (11 to 15 years old), while effects among young men are concentrated in upper secondary ages (16 and 17 years old). These findings point out that enrollment effects among adolescent women were substantially, but not entirely, offset by a response among young men on the upper secondary school margin in later adolescence.
Research in Progress
"Competition and the progression of women’s political participation," with Ryan Brown and Hani Mansour, August 2017.
"Within-firm spillovers from public-sector sponsored skill trainings," June 2017. (Previously presented as “Alleviating skill shortages: firm and worker responses to demand-driven occupational training”)
"Gender differences in career-path effects of competitive elections in the United States, 1960-2014," with Ryan Brown, Hani Mansour, and James Reeves, June 2017.