Make IT Work: The Labor Market Effects of Information Technology Retraining in the Netherlands

M. Vooren*, C. Haelermans, W. Groot, H.M. van den Brink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effects of an active labor market program (ALMP) for higher educated workers in the Netherlands. The one-year program is characterized by six months of full-time IT retraining followed by a six-month internship. We estimate the effects of participating on earnings per month and working days per month. The results show significant lock-in effects during the program, lasting up to five months after program start. After this lock-in period, we find significant positive effects on earnings and working days. These positive effects remain significant until the end of the 36-month evaluation period. A conservative cost-benefit analysis based on the effects on earnings shows a return of 2.53% (95% CI 2.02-3.04%), which is low compared to the returns to education in the Netherlands of around 8%. We conclude that IT retraining has positive effects on the labor market outcomes of the participants yet relatively low returns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-342
Number of pages20
JournalDe Economist
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

JEL classifications

  • j68 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies: Public Policy


  • Active labor market policy
  • Retraining
  • Information technology
  • Labor market out- comes
  • Internal rate of return

Cite this