Groh, Matthew Krishnan, Nandini McKenzie, David Vishwanath, Tara
Year of Publication:
[Journal:] IZA Journal of Labor & Development [ISSN:] 2193-9020 [Volume:] 5 [Year:] 2016 [Issue:] 9 [Pages:] 1-23
Employers around the world complain that youth lack the soft skills needed for success in the workplace. In response, a number of employment programs have begun to incorporate soft skills training, but to date there has been little evidence as to the effectiveness of such programs. This paper reports on a randomized experiment in Jordan in which female community college graduates were randomly assigned to a soft skills training program. Despite this program being twice as long in length as the average program in the region, and taught by a well-regarded provider, we find soft skills training does not have any significant employment impact in three rounds of follow-up surveys. We elicit expectations of academics and development professionals and reveal that these findings are novel and unexpected.