The Impacts of Psychosocial Support and Cash for Work on Vulnerable Youth in Liberia

Development Economics

Lori Beaman

Sylvan Herskowitz

Niall Keleher

Jeremy Magruder


December 28, 2019

Over the past two decades, sports programs have proliferated as a way to engage youth in productive activities, especially in contexts marked by conflict and high unemployment. Believed to lead to better labor market outcomes for marginalized youth, many sports programs aim to improve psychosocial well-being and soft skills of participants. In Liberia, we worked with Mercy Corps to evaluate the impact of a sports and life skills development program on psychosocial and labor outcomes of vulnerable young people. While the program had no effect on improved psychosocial well-being or resilience, it did lead to an increase in labor force participation.

Accepted in Economic Development and Cultural Change, publication forthcoming.