The Effectiveness of Adult Retraining: Evidence from a Meta-Analytic Review

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Aug 2022
We report the results of a meta-analytic review of the effectiveness of programs designed to retrain workers. The review focuses on studies that rely on identification strategies designed to obtain credible causal effects. We analyze a total of 40 programs that provided skills to unemployed workers and focus on two outcomes: the probability of finding a job and wages. We find that the probability of finding a job of program participants increases on average by 2.6 percentage points after the program and wages increase by 0.08 of a standard deviation. Programs that provide technical skills, those that combine in-classroom with on-the-job training and those provided in partnership with the private sector seem to be more effective.