Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 9 No. 2 (Spring 1995)


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The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs

Article Citation

LaLonde, Robert J. 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(2): 149-168.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.2.149


As concern about workers' skills has risen, so has interest in the role that government training programs might play in addressing 'America's workforce crisis.' One way to gauge whether increased reliance on these programs will substantially improve the skills of the workforce is to examine the impact of past programs. The evidence from these programs indicates that, although the gains were small, for the most part we got what we paid for. This outcome should not be surprising because investments in training were exceedingly modest compared to the skill deficiencies that policymakers have been trying to address.

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LaLonde, Robert J. (U Chicago)

JEL Classifications

J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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