Becker Friedman Institute
for Research in Economics
The University of Chicago

Research. Insights. Impact. Advancing the Legacy of Chicago Economics.

economic development

Vocational Training Programs and Youth Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Nepal

Shubha Chakravarty, Mattias Lundberg, Plamen Nikolov, Juliane Zenker

Lack of skills is arguably one of the most important determinants for high levels of unemployment and poverty. Targeting youth unemployment and also important because of its strong influence on other important social outcomes. Using a “fuzzy” regression discontinuity design, we examine the employment effects of a vocational training program in Nepal launched in 2009 over a three-year period. We find program participation generated an increase in non-farm employment of 28 percentage points for an overall gain of 95 percent, three years into the program.

Educational Investment Responses to Economic Opportunity: Evidence from Indian Road Construction

Anjali Adukia, Sam Asher, Paul Novosad

The rural poor in developing countries, once economically isolated, are increasingly being connected to regional markets. Whether these new connections crowd out or encourage educational investment is a central question. We examine the impacts on educational choices of 115,000 new roads built under India’s flagship road construction program. We find that children stay in school longer and perform better on standardized exams.

Millennial Goals: What’s Happened? What’s Next?


At the turn of the millennium, the United Nations set a list of eight Millennium Development Goals, to be accomplished over 2001-15. In 2015 it will pick a new slate of goals. Nancy Stokey, the Frederick Henry Prince Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College at the University of Chicago, assesses the success in accomplishing the first set of goals and discusses some of the issues in choosing the next set.