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Costs and Benefits of Apprenticeship Training. A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland

  • Regina Dionisius
  • Samuel Muehlemann
  • Harald Pfeifer
  • Günter Walden
  • Felix Wenzelmann
  • Stefan C. Wolter

For the first time it has been made possible to merge a German and a Swiss firm-level data set that include detailed information about costs and benefits of apprenticeship training. Previous analyzes based only on aggregate data showed that the net costs of training apprentices are substantial in Germany, whereas apprenticeship training is on average profitable during the training period for firms in Switzerland, even though the two training systems are rather similar. This paper analyzes the reasons for these differences with matching methods. We simulate the impact of changes in certain parameters such as wages, apprenticeship system-related factors and allocation of tasks to apprentices on the cost-benefit ratio using the counterfactual values of the other country. The results show that most of the difference in the net costs of training between the two countries can be explained by a higher share of productive tasks allocated to apprentices in Switzerland and the differences in relative wages.

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Article provided by Duncker & Humblot, Berlin in its journal Applied Economics Quarterly.

Volume (Year): 55 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 7-37

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Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqaeq:v55_y2009_i1_q1_p7-37
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.duncker-humblot.de

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  1. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  2. Stefan C. Wolter, 2008. "Ausbildungskosten und -nutzen und die betriebliche Nachfrage nach Lehrlingen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(s1), pages 90-108, 05.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1996. "Why do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Muehlemann, Samuel & Wolter, Stefan C., 2007. "Regional effects on employer-provided training: Evidence fromapprenticeship training in Switzerland," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 40(2/3), pages 135-147.
  5. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan C. Wolter & Jürg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann, 2007. "An empirical analysis of the decision to train apprentices," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0005, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  6. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2008. "Apprenticeship Training – What for? Investment in Human Capital or Substitute for Cheap Labour?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0017, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  7. Jens Mohrenweiser & Thomas Zwick, 2008. "Why do Firms Train Apprentices? The Net Cost Puzzle Reconsidered," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0016, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Oct 2008.
  8. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
  9. 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.
  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. Thomas Zwick, 2007. "Apprenticeship Training in Germany? Investment or Productivity Driven?," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-023, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Wolter, Stefan C. & Mühlemann, Samuel & Schweri, Jürg, 2003. "Why Some Firms Train Apprentices and Many Others Do Not," IZA Discussion Papers 916, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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