Research / BFI Working PaperApr 30, 2019

Impacts of Industrial and Entrepreneurial Jobs on Youth: 5-year Experimental Evidence on Factory Job Offers and Cash Grants in Ethiopia

Christopher Blattman, Stefan Dercon, Simon Franklin

We study two interventions for underemployed youth across five Ethiopian sites: a $300 grant to spur self-employment, and a job offer to an industrial firm. Despite significant impacts on occupational choice, income, and health in the first year, after five years we see nearly complete convergence across all groups and outcomes. Shortrun increases in productivity and earnings from the grant dissipate as recipients exit their micro-enterprises. Adverse effects of factory work on health found after one year also appear to be temporary. These results suggest that one-time and one-dimensional interventions may struggle to overcome barriers to wage- or self-employment.

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