Impact of a work-study programme for teenagers: evidence from a randomized controlled trial

Produced by: 
Universidad de la República - Uruguay
Available from: 
December 2016
Paper author(s): 
Federico Araya
Jose Ignacio Rivero
Topic: 
Education - Health
Labor
Year: 
2017

We present an impact evaluation of a labour programme oriented to young students called “Yo Estudio y Trabajo” (“I Study and Work”) carried out in Uruguay. It is one of the first such evaluations for this country. We estimate the programme’s effects on the probability of being formally employed and continuing to study. Impacts on the very short term (about three months after the programme ended), on the short term (15 months after programme finalisation) and on the medium term (27 months after the programme was completed) are analysed. We use administrative records provided by the public social security provider, the public education administration and the state university. We were able to match all candidates for selection into the programme (over 46,000) with their administrative records. Exploiting the programme’s random selection process, we apply experimental techniques to evaluate its effects through univariate models. In addition, we allow for interdependence between the decisions of working and studying through a bivariate probit model. Results indicate different effects depending on the characteristics of the individuals and the time span considered. In particular, for socially vulnerable youths we find that the programme increases their probability of being formally employed between 8 and 12 percentage points (depending on the particular model considered) in the medium term. These results are robust to different specifications and provide evidence in favour of increasing the programme’s coverage of socially vulnerable youth (a policy that has been under way since 2015).

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