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International Handbook on the Economics of Education

Edited by Geraint Johnes and Jill Johnes

This major Handbook comprehensively surveys the rapidly growing field of the economics of education. It is unique in that it comprises original contributions on an exceptional range of topics from a review of human capital, signalling and screening models, to consideration of issues such as educational externalities and economic growth, funding models, determinants of educational success, the educational production function, educational standards and efficiency measurement. Labour market issues such as the market for teachers and the transition of students from school to work are also explored.
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Chapter 3: The Economic Assessment of Training Schemes

Peter J. Dolton


Peter J. Dolton 1 Introduction Many countries1 at one time or another have introduced large-scale staterun training schemes in an attempt to alleviate youth unemployment problems. This chapter provides an economic assessment of these training schemes. The focus will be primarily on recent non-experimental international empirical econometric evidence, although the literature relating to experimental investigations is set in context in section 2. The main question which merits careful attention is, to what extent has such expenditure and government intervention been justified? Therefore there is an important need to evaluate the effectiveness of these training programmes. To describe the basic issues, and introduce some notation in such an evaluation, a simple cost–benefit model is discussed in section 3. The potential for evaluation of government-led training schemes has been enhanced in recent years with the collection of new cross-section and panel data relating to the labour market histories of young people. These data sets contain information about the jobs and training spells of the respondents, along with the unemployment experiences which may punctuate or even prevent the school-to-work transition. Details of participation in government-sponsored training schemes are known, permitting an evaluation of such schemes in helping the employment prospects of the individuals. However the availability of such detailed data presents us with a range of complex econometric modelling problems. The basic econometric framework for empirical questions is outlined in section 4 and elaborated in sections 5 and 6. Confounding factors are discussed in section 7 and an overview...

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