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Can Skill Diversification Improve Welfare in Rural Areas? Evidence from the Rural Skills Development Project in Bhutan

dc.contributor.authorNatalie Chun
dc.contributor.authorMakiko Watanabe
dc.description.abstractIncome growth in rural areas is a considerable challenge to further poverty reduction and economic development. Using a survey of rural Bhutanese households, we investigate the impacts of a vocational skills training program that was intended to diversify incomes outside of agriculture. We find that the program had limited positive impacts along various economic and psychosocial dimensions, but that it diversified household incomes into these skill areas. Notably, the program did raise incomes for trainees in non-competitive labor markets where trainees accounted for only a small percentage of the overall population. The results and anecdotal evidence suggests that: (i) a greater emphasis on creating a mechanism to connect the training program to income generating opportunities via job placement services, entrepreneurship, or mentoring services is needed—especially in competitive labor markets where there are too many trainees in relation to the population; (ii) refining the curriculum and extending the training time to allow trainees to develop their skills may be important; (iii) encouraging greater equality in the skill development process may require providing more female-friendly training that has flexibility in training time and venues and focuses on other skill areas.
dc.publisherAsian Development Bank
dc.rightsCC BY 3.0 IGO
dc.titleCan Skill Diversification Improve Welfare in Rural Areas? Evidence from the Rural Skills Development Project in Bhutan
dc.typeWorking Papers
dc.subject.expertEconomic Welfare
dc.subject.expertEconomic Incentives
dc.subject.adbSocial condition
dc.subject.adbEconomic dependence
dc.subject.adbEconomic assistance
dc.subject.naturalWelfare economics
dc.subject.naturalWelfare state
dc.subject.naturalFood relief
dc.subject.naturalDomestic economic assistance
dc.title.seriesADB Economics Working Paper Series
dc.title.volumeNo. 260
dc.contributor.imprintAsian Development Bank
oar.themeLabor Migration
oar.themeSmall Medium Business
oar.adminregionSouth Asia Region
oar.authorChun, Natalie
oar.authorWatanabe, Makiko

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