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General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle

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  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Ludger Woessmann
  • Lei Zhang

Abstract

Policy debates about the balance of vocational and general education programs focus on the school-to-work transition. But with rapid technological change, gains in youth employment from vocational education may be offset by less adaptability and thus diminished employment later in life. To test our main hypothesis that any relative labor-market advantage of vocational education decreases with age, we employ a difference-in-differences approach that compares employment rates across different ages for people with general and vocational education. Using micro data for 18 countries from the International Adult Literacy Survey, we find strong support for the existence of such a trade-off, which is most pronounced in countries emphasizing apprenticeship programs. Results are robust to accounting for ability patterns and to propensity-score matching.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3614.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3614

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Keywords: vocational education; apprenticeship; employment; wages; life-cycle; adult education; International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS);

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References

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  1. Fersterer, Josef & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2007. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Heiko Steffens, 2010. "OECD. (2009). Promoting Consumer Education—Trends, Policies and Good Practices. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. ISBN 978-92-64-06008-1. 189 pp., 30.00 EUR," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 291-292, September.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1996. "Why do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2010. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 4925, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
  6. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  7. Ludwig, Volker & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2005. "Abschreibungsraten allgemeiner und beruflicher Ausbildungsinhalte," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-36, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Krueger, Dirk & Kumar, Krishna B., 2004. "US-Europe differences in technology-driven growth: quantifying the role of education," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 161-190, January.
  9. Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2007. "Wage effects of an extra year of basic vocational education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 408-419, August.
  10. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2010. "General Education versus Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 43-60, February.
  11. Dirk Krueger & Krishna B. Kumar, 2003. "Skill-specific rather then General Education: A Reason for US-Europe Growth Differences?," NBER Working Papers 9408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eric A. Hanushek & Lei Zhang, 2006. "Quality-Consistent Estimates of International Returns to Skill," NBER Working Papers 12664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Julian Ramajo & Montserrat Ferre, 2010. "Purchasing power parity revisited: evidence from old and new tests for an organisation for economic co-operation and development panel," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2243-2260.
  14. Paul Ryan, 2001. "The School-to-Work Transition: A Cross-National Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 34-92, March.
  15. Eric A. Hanushek & Lei Zhang, 2009. "Quality-Consistent Estimates of International Schooling and Skill Gradients," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 107-143.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eric A. Hanushek, 2012. "Dual Education: Europe’s Secret Recipe?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(3), pages 29-34, November.
  2. Lerman, Robert I., 2013. "Skill Development in Middle Level Occupations: The Role of Apprenticeship Training," IZA Policy Papers 61, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Karl Aiginger & Susanne Bärenthaler-Sieber & Johanna Vogel, 2013. "Competitiveness under New Perspectives," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 44, WWWforEurope.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann & Lei Zhang, 2012. "Das Pro und Contra der dualen Berufsausbildung über den Erwerbslebenszyklus in einer sich wandelnden Welt," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 65(01), pages 40-42, 01.
  5. Hall, Caroline, 2013. "Does more general education reduce the risk of future unemployment? Evidence from labor market experiences during the Great Recession," Working Paper Series 2013:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  6. Johanna Wanka & Hans-Peter Klös & Axel Plünnecke & Joachim Möller & Wolfram F. Richter & Kerstin Schneider & Ludger Wößmann & Stefan Wolf, 2013. "»Akademisierungswahn«: Studieren zu viele?," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(23), pages 03-24, December.
  7. Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Biavaschi, Costanza & Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Kendzia, Michael J. & Muravyev, Alexander & Pieters, Janneke & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda, 2013. "Youth Unemployment and Vocational Training," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 9(1–2), pages 1-157, December.
    • Biavaschi, Costanza & Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Kendzia, Michael J. & Muravyev, Alexander & Pieters, Janneke & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Youth Unemployment and Vocational Training," IZA Discussion Papers 6890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Robert Lerman, 2013. "Are employability skills learned in U.S. youth education and training programs?," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-20, December.
  9. Eichhorst, Werner & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "A Roadmap to Vocational Education and Training Systems Around the World," IZA Discussion Papers 7110, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Pugatch, Todd, 2012. "Safety Valve or Sinkhole? Vocational Schooling in South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 7015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Michelle Rendall & Franziska J. Weiss, 2014. "Employment polarization and the role of the apprenticeship system," ECON - Working Papers 141, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2013. "Heterogeneous Returns to Education Over the Wage Distribution: Who Profits the Most?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0091, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  13. Francesco Ferrante, 2014. "Great expectations The unintended consequences of educational choices," Working Papers 67, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  14. Hanushek, Eric A., 2013. "Economic growth in developing countries: The role of human capital," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 204-212.
  15. Pieters, Janneke, 2013. "Report No. 58: Youth Employment in Developing Countries," IZA Research Reports 58, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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