Panel Paper: Evaluation of Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Ohio

Thursday, November 8, 2018
Madison A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Tian Lou and Joshua Hawley, The Ohio State University

The U.S. government has been making efforts to expand apprenticeships since the Obama administration. Why is it necessary to expand apprenticeships in the U.S.? Unlike college or vocational education, apprenticeship programs focus on training students with hands-on workplace experience. They well prepare students for future work and usually lead to middle income jobs at the cost of little or no debt. Thus, apprenticeships may be especially beneficial to less-educated individuals who are from low-income families. However, although the benefits of apprenticeships seem obvious, there is a lack of empirical evidence to show causal effects between apprenticeship programs and improved individual labor market outcomes. Moreover, most studies on apprenticeships have used data from European countries, which maintain fundamentally different systems and policies from those in the U.S.

In this project, we utilize Registered Apprenticeship data in Ohio and two statistical models to evaluate apprenticeship programs. Firstly, we use a reduced form regression to examine whether apprentices have better labor market outcomes than individuals who have similar educational backgrounds but have not participated in any apprenticeship programs. We exploit the variations in the availabilities of pre-apprenticeships in different Ohio counties as an instrument for apprenticeship participation. Second, we use a dynamic model to investigate individuals’ apprenticeship participation decisions, as well as factors that influence apprentices’ completion rates once they enter apprenticeship programs. Third, we will conduct counterfactual experiments to examine what policies may improve apprenticeship participation and completion rates and what policies may encourage females and minorities to participate more in apprenticeship programs.

These results will give policy-makers insights regarding the effectiveness of apprenticeship programs and which policies may encourage more individuals to participate in and complete apprenticeship programs.