Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Vocational Education Voucher Delivery and Labor Market Returns: A Randomized Evaluation Among Kenyan Youth

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 3:50 PM
Orchid A (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Isaac Mbiti, University of Virginia, Edward Miguel, University of California, Berkeley, Michael Kremer, Harvard University and Joan Harmory, CEGA
This report describes the ongoing Technical and Vocational Vouchers Program (TVVP) in Kenya and provides early results from the intervention. Implementation began in 2008 with the recruitment of approximately 2,160 out-of-school youths (ranging in age from roughly 18 to 30). Study participants were drawn from the Kenya Life Panel Survey, an unusual on-going panel dataset of detailed educational, health, and cognitive information for over 7,000 adolescents in western Kenya. Of the 2,160 youths that applied to the TVVP, a random half were awarded a voucher for vocational training, while the other half served as the control group. Of the voucher winners, a random half were awarded a voucher that could only be used in public (government) institutions, while the other half received a voucher that could be used in either private or public institutions. The project also included a cross-cutting information intervention, which exposed a randomly selected half of all treatment and control individuals to information about the actual returns to vocational education. This paper focuses on program take-up, the demand for vocational training and the impacts of the information intervention on institution and course selection, participant attendance, the short-term impacts of training on labor market expectations and outcomes for a representative subset of program participants, and training center characteristics. The paper also provides some suggestive evidence on the supply-side impacts of the program.