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Human Capital and Competition: Strategic Complementarities in Firm-based Training

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  • Margaret Stevens

Abstract

Vocational training systems differ markedly between countries. A model of firm-based human capital investment predicts equilibria characterised by particular patterns of training and job-to-job mobility, consistent with observed cross-country differences. Incentives to invest in human capital are determined jointly with labour turnover and the intensity of competition between employers for skilled workers, and the dependence of labour market conditions on human capital leads to strategic complementarity between training decisions. Depending on the extent of market frictions and match heterogeneity, we may expect to see either equilibria characterised by general training, steep wage profiles and high mobility; or equilibria in which both general and specific investment may occur, but turnover is low and wage profiles are relatively flat. Multiple equilibria are possible, in which case high turnover equilibria generate higher welfare. �

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 629.

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Date of creation: 05 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:629

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Keywords: Human capital; labor turnover; specific training; general training; search; matching;

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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. Laing, Derek & Palivos, Theodore & Wang, Ping, 1995. "Learning, Matching and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 115-29, January.
  3. Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2002. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: On the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," CESifo Working Paper Series 776, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 78-118, February.
  5. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Clark, Damon & RenÈ Fahr, 2002. "The Promise of Workplace Training for Non-College-Bound Youth: Theory and Evidence from German Apprenticeship," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 52, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Scoones, David, 2000. "Matching and competition for human capital," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 135-152, March.
  8. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Why do firms train apprentices? The net cost puzzle reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 631-637, December.
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