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Can Mentoring Alleviate Family Disadvantage in Adolescence? A Field Experiment to Improve Labor-Market Prospects

Sven Resnjanskij, Jens Ruhose, Simon Wiederhold () and Ludger Woessmann ()
Additional contact information
Sven Resnjanskij: ifo Institute
Jens Ruhose: Kiel University

No 277, Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series from CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition

Abstract: We study a mentoring program that aims to improve the labor-market prospects of school-attending adolescents from disadvantaged families by offering them a university-student mentor. Our RCT investigates program effectiveness on three outcome dimensions that are highly predictive of adolescents later labor-market success: math grades, patience-social skills, and labor-market orientation. For low-SES adolescents, the one-to-one mentoring increases a combined index of the outcomes by half a standard deviation after one year, with significant increases in each dimension. Part of the treatment effect is mediated by establishing mentors as attachment figures who provide guidance for the future. The mentoring is not effective for higher-SES adolescents. The results show that substituting lacking family support by other adults can help disadvantaged children at adolescent age.

Keywords: mentoring; disadvantaged youths; adolescence; school performance; patience; social skills; labor-market orientation; field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H52 I24 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-02-26
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-exp and nep-lma
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Related works:
Working Paper: Can Mentoring Alleviate Family Disadvantage in Adolscence? A Field Experiment to Improve Labor-Market Prospects (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Can Mentoring Alleviate Family Disadvantage in Adolescence? A Field Experiment to Improve Labor-Market Prospects (2021) Downloads
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