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The Impact of ICT Usage, Workplace Organisation and Human Capital on the Provision of Apprenticeship Training : A Firm-level Analysis Based on Swiss Panel Data

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Abstract

Firstly, we investigated the determinants of a) the propensity of Swiss firms to provide apprenticeship training, and b) the intensity of training (measured by the employment share of apprentices). We primarily were interested in the relevance as explanatory factors of the three constituent elements of the “new firm paradigm” that emerged in the course of the last twenty years: intensive usage of ICT; redesign of workplace organisation; shift from lower to higher skills. We found that the skill composition of the workforce (including further training), ICT intensity and, to a lesser extent, workplace organisation are important drivers of apprenticeshipbased skill formation, with stronger effects on training propensity than on training intensity. Secondly, we analysed the relationship between apprenticeship training and firm performance. It turned out that productivity and apprenticeships (training propensity or intensity) are negatively correlated. The study is relevant for training policy in advanced economies where the new firm paradigm plays a large and growing role.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 08-205.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:08-205

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Keywords: Firm-based training; Apprenticeship; Workplace organisation; ICT; Skill formation; Human capital;

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References

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  1. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas, 2008. "Why Do Firms Train Apprentices? The Net Cost Puzzle Reconsidered," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-019, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2003. "The Skill Bias Effect of Technological and Organisational Change: Evidence and Policy Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 934, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2006. "Distinguishing Companies with Different Apprenticeship Training Motivations – Evidence from German Establishment Data," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0007, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
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  6. Lorraine Dearden & Howard Reed & John Van Reenen, 2005. "The impact of training on productivity and wages : evidence from British panel data," Economic History Working Papers 779, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Kane, Thomas J, 1996. "Is the German Apprenticeship System a Panacea for the US Labour Market?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
  9. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "A Product-Market Theory of Industry-Specific Training," SOI - Working Papers 0610, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  10. Bocquet, Rachel & Brossard, Olivier, 2007. "The variety of ICT adopters in the intra-firm diffusion process: Theoretical arguments and empirical evidence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 409-437, December.
  11. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  12. Christoph Luelfesmann, 2000. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: On the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0659, Econometric Society.
  13. Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2008. "Training Propensity of Start-ups in Switzerland - A Study Based on Data for the Start-up Cohort 1996-97," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0035, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  14. Guellec, Dominique & Greenan, Nathalie & Caroli, Eve, 2001. "Organizational Change and Skill Accumulation," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10092, Paris Dauphine University.
  15. Caroli, Eve, 2001. "New technologies, organizational change and the skill bias: what do we know?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10054, Paris Dauphine University.
  16. Hilary Steedman, 2005. "Apprenticeship in Europe: 'Fading' or Flourishing?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0710, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Multi-Task Learning and the Reorganization of Work. From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," IZA Discussion Papers 39, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Heinz Hollenstein & Tobias Stucki, 2009. "Determinanten des Angebots an Lehrstellen – Der Einfluss von IKT, Organisation und Humankapital," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 3(1), pages 79-93, March.
  2. Daria Ciriaci, 2011. "Intangible resources: the relevance of training for European firms’ innovative performance," JRC-IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2011-06, Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
  3. G. Antonelli & R. Antonietti & G. Guidetti, 2009. "Organizational Change, Skill Formation, Human Capital Measurement: Evidence From Italian Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers 661, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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