The impact of soft skills training on female youth employment: evidence from a randomized experiment in Jordan

Matthew Groh, Nandini Krishnan, David McKenzie*, Tara Vishwanath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Employers around the world complain that youth lack the soft skills needed for success in the workplace. In response, a number of employment programs have begun to incorporate soft skills training, but to date there has been little evidence as to the effectiveness of such programs. This paper reports on a randomized experiment in Jordan in which female community college graduates were randomly assigned to a soft skills training program. Despite this program being twice as long in length as the average program in the region, and taught by a well-regarded provider, we find soft skills training does not have any significant employment impact in three rounds of follow-up surveys. We elicit expectations of academics and development professionals and reveal that these findings are novel and unexpected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalIZA Journal of Labor and Development
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Expectation elicitation
  • Randomized experiment
  • Soft skills
  • Youth unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Industrial relations
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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