Preliminary WIA Net Impact Estimates: Administrative Records Opportunities and Limitations

Preliminary WIA Net Impact Estimates: Administrative Records Opportunities and Limitations

Kevin Hollenbeck, Christopher T. King and Daniel Schroeder
July 2003
Publication Type:
Full Report (PDF)

Abstract: This paper presents preliminary results from an exploratory study estimating quasiexperimental net impacts of training services provided under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 on the employment and earnings of participants in seven states. We have linked program and Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage record data from the seven states that are currently participating in the Administrative Data Research and Evaluation (ADARE) Project: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Texas, and Washington. The ADARE Project, a collaboration of university and nonprofit organization partners, is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. We begin the paper with some background on quasi-experimental impact estimation for employment and training programs. We explain the approach we have adopted for estimating WIA net impacts on employment and earnings, two of the main outcomes of interest.


We then provide our preliminary impact results, keeping the identity of the individual states confidential for now. We offer a brief discussion of our results and their implications before outlining next steps for our research. We conclude by examining the opportunities and limitations associated with the use of administrative records for net impact estimation for workforce development programs. Despite their flaws, linked administrative records, on balance, offer researchers attractive opportunities for estimating the impact of WIA and related services at relatively low cost. Administrators at all levels should strive to improve the quality and accessibility of these data in the near future, while ensuring that appropriate protections are in place to ensure individual privacy and confidentiality.

Ray Marshall Center

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