Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Selection into skill accumulation: evidence using observational and experimental data

Dasgupta, Utteeyo and Gangadharan, Lata and Maitra, Pushkar and Mani, Subha and Subramanian, Samyukta (2011): Selection into skill accumulation: evidence using observational and experimental data.

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Abstract

This paper combines unique survey and experimental data to examine the determinants of self-selection into a vocational training program. Women residing in selected disadvantaged areas in New Delhi, India were invited to apply for a 6-month long free training program in stitching and tailoring. A random subset of applicants and non-applicants were invited to participate in a set of behavioral experiments and in a detailed socio-economic survey. We find that applicants and non-applicants differ both in terms of observables (captured using survey data) and also in terms of a number of intrinsic traits (captured via the behavioral experiments). Overall our results suggest that there is valuable information to be gained by dissecting the black box of unobservables using behavioral experiments.

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