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General Education versus Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition

Ofer Malamud and Cristian Pop-Eleches ()

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2010, vol. 92, issue 1, 43-60

Abstract: This paper examines the relative benefits of general education and vocational training during Romania's transition to a market economy. We examine a 1973 educational reform that shifted a large proportion of students from vocational training to general education. Using census and household survey data, we analyze the effect of this policy with a regression discontinuity design. We find that men affected by the policy are significantly less likely to work in manual or craft-related occupations but have similar levels of labor market participation and earnings compared to their counterparts unaffected by the policy. We conclude that differences in labor market returns between graduates of vocational and general schools are largely driven by selection. © 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Date: 2010
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Pierre Azoulay, Olivier Coibion, Will Dobbie, Raymond Fisman, Benjamin R. Handel, Brian A. Jacob, Kareen Rozen, Xiaoxia Shi, Tavneet Suri and Yi Xu

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