Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 05-111

**Published Version**

Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, 7(1) (2009): p. 77-94
In China in the World Economy. London: Routledge, pp. [137]-155




Recent years have seen a surge in the evidence on the impacts of active labor market programs for numerous countries. However, little evidence has been presented on the effectiveness of such programs in China. Recent economic reforms, associated massive lay-offs, and accompanying public retraining programs make China fertile ground for rigorous impact evaluations. This study evaluates retraining programs for laid-off workers in the cities of Shenyang and Wuhan using a comparison group design. To our knowledge, this is the first evaluation of its kind in China. The evidence suggests that retraining helped workers find jobs in Wuhan, but had little effect in Shenyang. However, in terms of earnings impacts, retraining appears to have increased earnings in Shenyang but not in Wuhan. The study raises questions about the overall effectiveness of retraining expenditures, and it offers some directions for policymakers about future interventions to help laid-off workers.

Issue Date

March 2005


Revised version of the earlier report: Has Training Helped Employ the Xiagang in China? A Tale from Two Cities. World Bank, Poverty Reduction and Economic Unit East Asia and Pacific Region, March 2002

Subject Areas

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES; International labor comparisons; Program development and evaluation; WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT; Labor exchange; Public training programs




Bidni, Benu, Chor-ching Goh, Niels-Hugo Blunch, and Christopher J. O'Leary. 2005. "Evaluating Job Training in Two Chinese Cities." Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 05-111. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.