Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Our Seminars & Workshops



Show all calendar items

Economic History Seminar - Shari Eli (Toronto)

- Export as iCalendar

Shari will present the paper titled

Do Youth Employment Programs Work? Evidence from the New Deal

Abstract: We study the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) – the first and largest youth training program in
the U.S. in operation between 1933 and 1942 – to provide the first comprehensive assessment of
the short- and long-term effects of means-tested youth employment programs. We use digitized
enrollee records from the CCC program in Colorado and New Mexico and matched these records
to the 1940 Census, WWII enlistment records, Social Security Administration records, and death
certificates. We find that enrollees who spent more time in CCC training grew taller, lived longer
lives and had higher lifetime earnings as a result of their participation in the program. We also
find modest increases in the educational attainment of the participants and increases in short term
geographic mobility. In contrast, we find no evidence that their labor force participation or wages
increased in the short run. To assess the internal and external validity of the results, we compare
our estimates to those derived from a randomized evaluation of Job Corps, the modern version of
the CCC, conducted in the 1990s. The RCT’s results show that our empirical strategy delivers
estimates that are in line with the experimental estimates. Overall, we find significant long-term
benefits in both longevity and earnings, suggesting short and medium-term evaluations
underestimate the returns of training programs, as do those that fail to consider effects on

Organisers: Bishnupriya Gupta & Claudia Rei

Show all calendar items