Technical high school and vocational training in Latin America

Available from: 
October 2013
Paper author(s): 
Hugo Nopo (IADB)
Marina Bassi (IADB)
Education - Health

This paper surveys earnings differences for workers who followed different types of secondary and tertiary education. We perform two comparisons: (a) for those whose schooling attainment does not surpass high school, we compare those who followed the technical path or specialty vis-à-vis those who followed a humanistic or general one; and (b) for those whose schooling attainment reached the tertiary level, we compare those who attended a (three years or more) vocational program vis-à-vis those who pursued a university degree. The comparisons are performed following a matching approach as in Ñopo (2008) and represent 13 Latin American countries for the period comprised between 1995 and 2009. The results indicate that: (a) at the secondary level, workers who followed the technical path earn between 5% and 10% more than their peers who followed the humanistic path, the gaps are homogeneous along the earnings distribution and this did not changed much during the period of analysis; (b) at the tertiary level, workers who attended college earn between 40% and 50% more than their peers who attended technical studies, this gap is increasing along the earnings distribution (that is, there are higher earning gaps for higher earnings workers) and such gap increased between 10 and 20 percentage points during the period.


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Research section: 
Lacea 2013 annual meeting
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