Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2003:10: The determinants of participation in a social program: Evidence from a prototypical job training program

James J Heckman and Jeffrey A. Smith ()
Additional contact information
James J Heckman: University of Chicago, Postal: Department of Economics, 1126 E. 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 USA,
Jeffrey A. Smith: University of Maryland, Postal: Department of Economics, College Park, MD 20742-7211

Abstract: This paper decomposes the participation process of a prototypical program into eligibility, awareness, application, acceptance and enrollment. With this decomposition, we determine the sources of unequal participation for different groups, and demonstrate that variables often have very different effects at different stages in the participation process. Our analysis shows that personal choices substantially affect participation and that awareness of program eligibility is a major source of variation in participation.

Keywords: Social program participation; job training performance standards; cream skimming; job training partnership act (JTPA)

JEL-codes: J24

76 pages, June 10, 2003

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