IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Worker Reciprocity and Employer Investment in Training

  • Edwin Leuven
  • Hessel Oosterbeek
  • Randolph Sloof
  • Chris van Klaveren

Standard economic theory predicts that firms will not invest in general training and will underinvest in specific training. Empirical evidence, however, indicates that firms do invest in general training of their workers. Evidence from laboratory experiments points to less underinvestment in specific training than theory predicts. We propose a simple model in which a firm invests the socially optimal amounts in general and specific training if the worker is sufficiently motivated by reciprocity. A reciprocal worker may be willing to give the firm a full return on its investment. We present empirical evidence that supports the proposed mechanism. Workers with a high sensitivity to reciprocity have 15% higher training rates than workers with a low sensitivity to reciprocity. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2005.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 72 (2005)
Issue (Month): 285 (02)
Pages: 137-149

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:72:y:2005:i:285:p:137-149
Contact details of provider: Postal: Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1996. "Why do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
  4. Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2002. "Who Pays for General Training? New Evidence for British Men and Women," IZA Discussion Papers 486, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
  6. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1990. "Shared investment in general training : the role of information," Policy Research Working Paper Series 535, The World Bank.
  7. Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2000. "Continuous Training in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 137, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Scholarly Articles 12375014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  10. Chung, T.Y., 1991. "On the Social Optimality of Liquidated Damage Clauses: An Economic Analysis," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9102, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  11. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  12. Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
  13. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1990. "Investment in General Training: The Role of Information and Labour Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1147-58, December.
  14. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:303-330 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:72:y:2005:i:285:p:137-149. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.