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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. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Discussion Papers 09-013, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. 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.
  3. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  4. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2008. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," CEE Discussion Papers 0088, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  5. Dirk Krueger & Krishna B. Kumar, 2004. "Skill-Specific rather than General Education: A Reason for US--Europe Growth Differences?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 167-207, 06.
  6. 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.
  7. Eric A. Hanushek & Lei Zhang, 2006. "Quality-Consistent Estimates of International Returns to Skill," NBER Working Papers 12664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2013. "Heterogeneous Returns to Education Over Wage Distribution: Who Pro ts the Most?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0091, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Dec 2013.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Karl Aiginger & Susanne Bärenthaler-Sieber & Johanna Vogel, 2013. "Competitiveness under New Perspectives," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 44, WWWforEurope.
  5. 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.
  6. Pieters, Janneke, 2013. "Report No. 58: Youth Employment in Developing Countries," IZA Research Reports 58, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Pugatch, Todd, 2012. "Safety Valve or Sinkhole? Vocational Schooling in South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 7015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. Francesco Ferrante, 2014. "Great expectations The unintended consequences of educational choices," Working Papers 67, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.

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