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Specificity of occupational training and occupational mobility: an empirical study based on Lazear’s skill-weights approach

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  • Regula Geel
  • Johannes Mure
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

Abstract

According to standard human capital theory, firm-financed training cannot be explained if the skills obtained are general in nature. Nevertheless, in German-speaking countries, firms invest heavily in apprenticeship training although the skills are assumed to be general. In our paper, we study the extent to which apprenticeship training is general at all and how specificity of training may be defined based on Lazear’s skill-weights approach. We build occupation-specific skill-weights and find that the more specific the skill portfolio in an occupation, the higher the net costs firms have to bear for these apprenticeship training occupations and, at the same time, the smaller the probability of an occupational change during an employee’s entire career. Due to the new definition of occupational specificity, we thus find that apprenticeship training -- previously assessed as general training -- is very heterogeneous in its specificity.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09645291003726483
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (January)
Pages: 519-535

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:19:y:2011:i:5:p:519-535

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References

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1996. "Why do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Harhoff, Dietmar & Kane, Thomas J., 1995. "Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the US labour market?," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-19, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Euwals, Rob & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Why do Firms Train? Empirical Evidence on the First Labour Market Outcomes of Graduate Apprentices," CEPR Discussion Papers 2880, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1990. "Investment in General Training: The Role of Information and Labour Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1147-58, December.
  5. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Goeggel, Kathrin & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Good occupation - bad occupation? The quality of apprenticeship training," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-024, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Kathrin Goeggel & Thomas Zwick, 2011. "Heterogeneous Wage Effects of Apprenticeship Training," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0062, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  3. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2011. "Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Hof, Stefanie & Strupler, Mirjam & Wolter, Stefan C., 2011. "Career Changers in Teaching Jobs: A Case Study Based on the Swiss Vocational Education System," IZA Discussion Papers 5806, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Regula Geel & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0047, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  6. Bublitz, Elisabeth, 2013. "Matching Skills of Individuals and Firms Along the Career Path," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79742, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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