Policy Insights in Labor Markets

J-PAL’s Labor Markets sector focuses on helping people access quality work. Our policy insight below summarizes general lessons from randomized evaluations on reducing search barriers for jobseekers.
Marianne Bertrand (University of Chicago Booth School of Business) and Bruno Crépon (ENSAE and École Polytechnique), Labor Markets Co-Chairs
workers at a machine
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Vocational and skills training programs to improve labor market outcomes

Last updated: August 2022
While vocational and skills training programs have had mixed results, those that included practical experience, soft-skills training, and job referrals often increased the hours worked and earnings of people who were targeted. Vocational training programs often helped trainees acquire hard skills...

Reducing search barriers for job seekers

Last updated: January 2022
Programs focused on reducing job search barriers often improve job seekers’ employment outcomes. These programs can help job seekers increase their search effort, identify where and how to look for jobs, surmount geographic and financial obstacles to finding a job, and communicate qualifications to...

Changing resumes to reduce hiring discrimination

Last updated: February 2019
Randomized evaluations show strong evidence of hiring discrimination against minority and underrepresented groups in many countries, with most evidence so far coming from developed countries. Where it has been tested using randomization, removing identifying information on job applications had...

Business Training and Consulting Management practices are thought to play an important role in firm growth, and giving firm owners access to subsidized business training services and consulting could be one way to support their growth. Business training programs tend to teach standard best practices in a classroom setting, such as record keeping and conducting market research, while consultants work closely with firms to identify areas for potential improvement and to support the implementation of recommended actions.

Teaching business skills to support microentrepreneurs

Last updated: December 2019
Business skills training programs increased microentrepreneurs’ use of business best practices, but in most cases, there were no significant changes in their profits.

Sector Chairs

Co-Chair, Labor Markets

Member, Executive Committee

Chris P. Dialynas Professor of Economics

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Bruno Crépon photo

Scientific Director, J-PAL Middle East and North Africa

Co-Chair, Labor Markets

Professor

ENSAE and École Polytechnique

Sector Contacts

Lisa Corsetto

Senior Policy Manager, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Natalie Valent

Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global