Thailand's vocational training and upward mobility: Impact Heterogeneity and Policy Implications

Patima Chongcharoentanawat, Franziska Gassmann, Pierre Mohnen

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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This paper provides the first impact evaluation of vocational training in Thailand using various treatment effect methods with unique longitudinal survey data, covering seven years, to evaluate the impact of vocational training on economic and social mobility in the short, medium and long term. We find that vocational training fails to move participants upward both in terms of earning and employment. However, training participation is found to increase expenditures in the short and medium term but these positive impacts vanish when we strictly confine counterfactuals or allow for the endogeneity of the decision to attend the programme. We also examine the heterogeneity of effects with respect to individual and programme characteristics to answer the questions for whom the training works and which type of training works best. The results suggest that women, rural residents, youth (aged 15-24) and elderly (aged 60 and above), low-educated workers, and economically inactive people, benefit less from the programme. With regard to heterogeneity by type of training, we find that computer training courses, training offered by private institutions and a cooperation of government and private agencies, and training financed by employers are associated with better outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers

JEL classifications

  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"
  • j08 - Labor Economics Policies
  • o15 - "Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration"


  • vocational training
  • socioeconomic upward mobility
  • human development
  • impact evaluation
  • Thailand
  • social mobility

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