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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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17504.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17504

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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. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2007. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," Economics working papers 2007-14, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. 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.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Discussion Papers 09-013, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  6. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Returns to apprenticeship training in Austria: evidence from failed firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19380, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Dirk Krueger & Krishna B. Kumar, 2003. "US-Europe Differences in Technology-Driven Growth: Quantifying the Role of Education," NBER Working Papers 10001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Returns to apprenticeship training in Austria: evidence from failed firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23550, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Eric A. Hanushek & Lei Zhang, 2006. "Quality-Consistent Estimates of International Returns to Skill," NBER Working Papers 12664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, Center for Labor Studies 2013:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Pugatch, Todd, 2012. "Safety Valve or Sinkhole? Vocational Schooling in South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 7015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. 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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