The Returns to Investments in Equipment Upgrades at Vocational Education Schools: Evidence from a RCT in Mongolia
Last registered on March 30, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Returns to Investments in Equipment Upgrades at Vocational Education Schools: Evidence from a RCT in Mongolia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000155
Initial registration date
March 30, 2015
Last updated
March 30, 2015 5:38 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
The University of Texas at Austin
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Ryerson University
PI Affiliation
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
PI Affiliation
Duke University
PI Affiliation
University of Texas at Austin
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2010-05-06
End date
2016-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Do investments in equipment upgrades at Vocational and Technical Education Training (TVET) schools increase the wages and employability of poor Mongolians? This study will evaluate the incremental impact of school equipment upgrades on both academic and labor-market outcomes. We hypothesize that being assigned to study with upgraded equipment will cause students to be more likely to train with improved equipment. We hypothesize that exposure to more current equipment will improve their factual understanding of the trade and familiarize the students with the tools actually used by employers. Employers should then find students more productive than they otherwise would, making it more likely that students will be able to find employment and increasing the wages that employers are willing to pay them. To identify these effects, we worked with a select set of TVET schools in Mongolia to conduct admissions lotteries in three admission years, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Baseline data was collected at time of admission application and follow-up data will be analyzed to assess the impact of TVET training with improved equipment on labor market outcomes.
Registration Citation
Citation
Field, Erica et al. 2015. "The Returns to Investments in Equipment Upgrades at Vocational Education Schools: Evidence from a RCT in Mongolia." AEA RCT Registry. March 30. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/155/history/3920
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We evaluate investments into equipment upgrades at Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) schools in Mongolia, a part of the Vocational Education Training Project sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and designed to address the gaps in Mongolia’s vocational education system. The project seeks to increase the wages of poor Mongolians by improving their technical skills and productivity to meet labor market demand in key industries (including, among others, construction, mining, electronics, mechanics, and transport). More than half of MCC’s investment into the Mongolian TVET sector was spent on upgrading equipment and constructing and rehabilitating workshops. The upgrades of 19 categories of equipment in the ten schools participating in this study were completed in August 2013, ultimately affecting 21 trades.

We hypothesize that a school receiving the equipment upgrades will cause students in affected trades to be more likely to train with improved equipment. This experience with modern, relevant equipment will improve their factual understanding of the trade and familiarize the students with the tools used by employers. Employers should then find students more productive than they otherwise would, making it more likely that students will be able to find employment and increasing the wages that employers are willing to pay them.
Intervention Start Date
2010-09-01
Intervention End Date
2016-01-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Key outcomes include earnings, employment, type of employment, and graduates' trade-specific skills.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study will primarily evaluate the incremental impact of school equipment upgrades on both academic and labor-market outcomes. Comparable control and treatment groups necessary to estimate the effect of TVET training was created through randomized admissions process in three consecutive academic years. Out of a pool of ‘qualified’ applicants, students were chosen at random to gain admittance to the school and randomly assigned to study specific trades. Surveys were administered to the entire pool of applicants at the time of the application, including a standardized general knowledge test to measure skill levels and academic performance. Shortly after graduation, a follow-up survey will be administered to collect information on labor-market outcomes, including wages and hours worked. Students will also complete standardized trade tests that measure knowledge and skills in specific trades. This follow-up survey will continue annually for three years.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Randomization occurred at the level of the individual applicant to the TVET schools.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
11,000 Applicants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2,886 applicants were assigned to study at schools in trades that received upgraded equipment.
8,126 applicants were not assigned to either a trade or school that received upgraded equipment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDE's for Monthly Exposure to Improved Equipment: Upper bound: 0.01 std. deviations for Skills Test scores; 0.42% Employment change; 1.7 USD monthly income change Lower Bound: 0.0056 Std. deviations for skills test scores; 0.24% Employment change and 0.94 USD monthly income change
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Human Subjects Committee for Innovations for Poverty Action
IRB Approval Date
2010-08-06
IRB Approval Number
183.10 August.-003
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers