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Are self-employment training programs effective? Evidence from Project GATE

Michaelides, Marios and Benus, Jacob (2010): Are self-employment training programs effective? Evidence from Project GATE.

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Abstract

This paper presents new evidence on the efficacy of self-employment training programs using data from Project GATE (Growing America Through Entrepreneurship). Project GATE was an experimental design demonstration program that offered free self-employment training to a random sample of individuals who expressed a strong interest in self-employment. Our analyses show that the program was very effective in assisting unemployed participants start their own business, leading to significant gains in self-employment and overall employment in the early months following program participation. These impacts, however, dissipated over time. Despite the program’s impact on the rapid reemployment of unemployed participants, the program did not lead to significant gains in total earnings. Moreover, our analyses provide no evidence that the program was effective for participants who were employed, self-employed, or not in the labor force at the time of application.

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