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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. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
    2. Kessler, Anke & Lülfesmann, Christoph, 2000. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: On the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," CEPR Discussion Papers 2533, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.
    5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Daniel Parent, 1995. "Wages and Mobility: The Impact of Employer-Provided Training," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-27, CIRANO.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "Labour Contracts and Efficiency in On-the-Job Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 408-19, March.
    12. James M. Malcomson & James W. Maw & Barry McCormick, 2002. "General Training by Firms, Apprentice Contracts, and Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 696, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    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. Görg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2005. "Do Government Subsidies Stimulate Training Expenditure? Microeconometric Evidence from Plant Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1606, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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).
    3. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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