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Improving Public ServicesInternational Experiences in Using Evaluation Tools to Measure Program Performance$
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Douglas J. Besharov, Karen J. Baehler, and Jacob Alex Klerman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190646059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190646059.001.0001

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Workforce Development Programs

Workforce Development Programs

Performance over the U.S. Business Cycle

(p.286) 13 Workforce Development Programs
Improving Public Services

Kevin Hollenbeck

David Pavelchek

Oxford University Press

Every four years, the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB) estimates the net impacts of the state’s primary workforce development programs on individuals’ labor market experiences. This chapter exploits the fact that precisely the same methodology and data sources were used the last three times these net impacts were estimated to gauge the influence of the business cycle on labor market outcomes for clients of these programs. That administrative data is used to test six hypotheses about potential effects. The overall empirical findings are consistent with a procyclical effect, although a larger investment per client attenuates that relationship. Unexpectedly, programs that serve youth tend to be especially prone to volatility from the business cycle. The chapter argues that such findings are important in helping policymakers and program practitioners understand the impact of the business cycle on client outcomes.

Keywords:   business cycle, workforce development programs, Washington State, quasiexperimental evaluation, administrative data, net impact estimation

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