We analyse the effects of government-sponsored training for the unemployed conducted during East German transition. For the microeconometric analysis, we use a new, large and informative administrative database that allows us to use matching methods to address potential selection bias, to study different types of programmes and to observe labour market outcomes over eight years. We find strong evidence that, on average, the training programmes under investigation increase long-term employment prospects and earnings. However, as an important exception, the longer training programmes are not helpful for their male participants. At least part of the explanation for this negative result is that caseworkers severely misjudged the structure of the future demand for skills.
© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston