Technical education, noncognitive skills and labor market outcomes: experimental evidence from Brazil
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This paper describes the results from the evaluation of the Student Training Scholarship ('Bolsa Formação Estudante'), a public policy that offers scholarships to current and former high school students of the public educational system in Brazil so that they can attend technical and vocational education courses free of charge. We base our analysis on a waiting list randomized controlled trial in four municipalities and use survey and administrative data to quantify the effects of the program on educational investments, labor market outcomes, noncognitive skills and self-reported risky behaviors. Our intention-to-treat estimates suggest substantial gender heterogeneity two years after program completion. Women experienced large gains in labor market outcomes and noncognitive skills. In particular, those who received the offer scored 0.63σ higher on an extraversion indicator, but, surprisingly, reported more frequently that they were involved in argument or fights and binge drinking. We find no effects of the program on the male sub-sample. The findings corroborate the evidence on gender heterogeneity in the literature on technical and vocational education programs, and also extend it to additional dimensions.