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Do Postsecondary Training Programs Respond to Changes in the Labor Market?

White Paper

February 20, 2019

This paper by Abt’s Michel Grosz, Ph.D., analyzes whether postsecondary training programs have kept up with shifts in the occupational structure of the labor market over the past decades. Grosz shows long-term trends in the distribution of degrees and certificates across occupation groupings in the nation’s largest community college system. Using an instrumental variables approach, Grosz then estimates that an occupation’s share of community college completions grows 0.47 percentage points for every percentage point increase in its share of employment. However, Grosz points out that this relationship is primarily due to increases in student demand rather than to colleges expanding capacity.

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