Schar School of Policy and Government professor Maurice Kugler coauthored "School Vouchers, Labor Markets and Vocational Education” with Michael Kremer, the 2019 Economic Nobel Prize winner for pioneering the implementation of randomized control trials to evaluate the impact of policy programs in international development.
“Education is a pillar of social development yet, it has been elusive for economists to design policies to boost widespread coverage of quality education,” said Kugler. “In the paper, we evaluate the long run impact of vouchers for disadvantaged adolescents on key outcomes – including wages, employment, human capital, and fertility.”
The authors used the randomized control trial methodology (RCT) in their evaluation. Kugler states that this is the most scientific way to gather evidence to inform social policy.
“One surprising finding was that the positive effects from vouchers are only significant for those who attended technical [school] instead of classical education schools,” said Kugler.
“The technical schools have more emphasis on vocational training,” he said. “The positive effect is significant, not only on labor market outcomes, but also on educational outcomes. While vocational training and university training have been traditionally viewed as substitutes, our evidence points to complementarities.”
The evidence pointed to a potential crucial role for vocational training in the development of less advantaged populations. Read the full study here.