Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/147885
Authors: 
Jain, Tarun
Maitra, Pushkar
Mani, Subha
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10199
Abstract: 
Skill development is increasingly viewed as a way to escape the low education – high unemployment trap in developing countries. Consequently, policy makers in these countries are extensively investing in skill development programs. However, participation and completion rates in many of these programs remains low. This paper investigates factors that prevent individuals from acquiring spoken English, an important skill with potentially high returns in the labor market. Using data from a field experiment in India that subsidizes the cost of learning spoken English, we find that full subsidy (compared to partial or no subsidy) positively effects the probability of participating in a spoken English training program. Conversely, distance to the training center, pre-existing knowledge of spoken English, and past enrollment in a similar course act as significant barriers to take-up. These findings suggest that multidimensional policy solutions are required to overcome the barriers to skill development in developing countries.
Subjects: 
skill development
vocational training
spoken English
field experiment
India
JEL: 
I25
J24
J44
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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