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The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover: A Case Study Analysis

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  • Colleen N. Flaherty
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    Abstract

    Tuition reimbursement programs provide financial assistance for direct costs of education and are a type of general skills training program commonly offered by employers in the United States. Standard human capital theory argues that investment in firm-specific skills reduces turnover, while investment in general skills training could result in increased turnover. However, firms cite increased retention as a motivation for offering tuition reimbursement programs. This rationale for offering these programs challenges the predictions of the standard human capital model. This paper tests empirically whether participation in tuition reimbursement programs increases employee retention using data from a non-profit institution. To document the prevalence of tuition reimbursement programs, the case study analysis is supplemented with findings from the Survey of Employer-Provided Training, 1995 (SEPT95). This paper finds that participation in tuition reimbursement programs reduces employee turnover.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12975.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2007
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    Publication status: published as The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover: A Case Study Analysis , Colleen Flaherty Manchester. in The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches , Bender, Lane, Shaw, Andersson, and von Wachter. 2008
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12975

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    1. Barrett, Alan & O'Connell, Philip J., 1999. "Does Training Generally Work? The Returns to In-Company Training," IZA Discussion Papers 51, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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. Feuer, M. & Glick, H. & Desai, A., 1987. "Is firm-sponsored education viable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 121-136, March.
    4. Cappelli, Peter, 2004. "Why do employers pay for college?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 213-241.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mark A. Loewenstein & James R. Spletzer, 1999. "General and Specific Training: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 710-733.
    7. 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.
    8. Garcia, Federico & Arkes, Jeremy & Trost, Robert, 2002. "Does employer-financed general training pay? Evidence from the US Navy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-27, February.
    9. Harley Frazis & Maury Gittleman & Mary Joyce, 2000. "Correlates of training: An analysis using both employer and employee characteristics," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 443-462, April.
    10. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the incidence of employer-provided training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
    11. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448, November.
    12. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:403-438 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kenny, Lawrence W, et al, 1979. "Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(3), pages 775-89, October.
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