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Firm Provision of General Training and Specific Human Capital Acquisition

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  • Pablo Casas-Arce
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    Abstract

    The existing literature on training is concerned with understanding the reasons why firms pay for the general skills of their workers, but without explaining which firms train which workers. This paper develops a theory that both explains the willingness of firms to pay for general training, and accounts for the pattern of training provision empirically observed. It is assumed that labor markets are perfectly competitive, but there is imperfect contractibility of human capital. Under these assumptions, when training and specific human capital are complements, the firm would pay for the former in order to induce the acquisition of complementary specific skills by the worker.

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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper198.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 198.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:198

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    Related research

    Keywords: Training; Human Capital; Incomplete Contracts;

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    References

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    1. Parent, D., 1995. "Wages and Mobility: the Impact of Employer-Provided Training," Cahiers de recherche 9507, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    2. 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.
    3. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
    4. Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "The Role of Promotion in Inducing Specific Human Capital Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 523-34, May.
    5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    6. Acemoglu, D. & Pischki, J.S., 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," Working papers 96-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    8. James Malcomson & James W. Maw, 2002. "General Training by Firms, Apprentice Contracts, and Public Policy," Economics Series Working Papers 86, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
    16. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "Labour Contracts and Efficiency in On-the-Job Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 408-19, March.
    17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2006. "Do Government Subsidies Stimulate Training Expenditure? Microeconometric Evidence from Plant-Level Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 860–876, April.
    2. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Regula Geel & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0047, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).

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