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A Product Market Theory of Worker Training

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  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Schmutzler, Armin

Abstract

We develop a product market theory that explains why firms invest in general training of their workers. We consider a model where firms first decide whether to invest in general human capital, then make wage offers for each other’s trained employees and finally engage in imperfect product market competition. Equilibria with and without training, and multiple equilibria can emerge. If competition is sufficiently soft and trained workers are substitutes, firms may invest in non-specific training if others do the same, because they would otherwise suffer a competitive disadvantage or need to pay high wages in order to attract trained workers. Government intervention can be socially desirable to turn training into a focal equilibrium.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3940.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3940

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Related research

Keywords: general training; human capital; oligopoly; turnover;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 1833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Lars Vilhuber, 1999. "Sector-Specific Training and Mobility in Germany," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-03, CIRANO.
  4. Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2006. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: on the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 903-923, October.
  5. Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "A Product Market Theory of Worker Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 3940, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Lars Vilhuber, 1997. "Sector-Specific On-the-Job Training: Evidence from U.S. Data," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-42, CIRANO.
  7. Chang, Chun & Wang, Yijiang, 1996. "Human Capital Investment under Asymmetric Information: The Pigovian Conjecture Revisited," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 505-19, July.
  8. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  9. Prendergast, Canice, 1992. "Career development and specific human capital collection," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 207-227, September.
  10. Chun Chang & Wang, Yijiang, 1995. "A framework for understanding differences in labor turnover and human capital investment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 91-105, September.
  11. Athey, Susan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2001. "Investment and Market Dominance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
  12. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2000. "Returns to firm-provided training: evidence from French worker-firm matched data1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 445-64, July.
  14. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  17. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2003. "Endogenous spillovers and incentives to innovate," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 59-79, 01.
  18. Loewenstein, Mark A & Spletzer, James R, 1998. "Dividing the Costs and Returns to General Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 142-71, January.
  19. Abe Yukiko, 1994. "Specific Capital, Adverse Selection, and Turnover: A Comparison of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 272-292, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bornemann, Stefan, 2005. "Spillovers in Vocational Training," Discussion Papers in Economics 693, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Christos Bilanakos, 2011. "Career Concerns and Firm – Sponsored General Training," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 07-2011, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  3. Anette Boom, . "Firms' Investments in General Training and the Market for Skilled Labour," Papers 013, Departmental Working Papers.
  4. Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2006. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: on the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 903-923, October.
  5. Simon Loertscher & Yves Schneider, 2005. "Switching Costs, Firm Size, and Market Structure," Diskussionsschriften dp0515, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  6. Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2005. "The Effects of Globalization on Worker Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 4879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Giorgio Brunello, 2006. "Workplace Training and Labour Market Institutions in Europe," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(4), pages 33-41, 02.
  8. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2002. "A Product Market Theory of Worker Training," SOI - Working Papers 0214, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2003.
  9. Rita Asplund, 2005. "The Provision and Effects of Company Training: A Brief Review of the Literature," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 31, pages 47-73.
  10. Asplund, Rita, 2004. "The Provision and Effects of Company Training. A brief review of the literature," Discussion Papers 907, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

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