IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Institutions and training inequality


  • Lechthaler, Wolfgang
  • Snower, Dennis J.


We analyze how firm-provided training is affected by the interaction among important institutional variables in the labor market: firing costs, minimum wages and unemployment benefits. We find that the degree of complementarity and substitutability among these variables depends on employees' abilities. Thereby the institutional interactions influence skill inequality. We derive how the influence of one of the institutional variables above is affected by other institutional variables with respect to inequality in skills arising from firm-provided training. We derive several striking results, such as: (a) the minimum wage and unemployment benefits generate increasing skill inequality whereas firing costs generate skill equalization; (b) unemployment benefits and firing costs are complements in their effects on skill inequality, (c) firing costs and the minimum wage are substitutes in their effects on skill equalization, and (d) unemployment benefits and the minimum wage are substitutes in their effects on skill inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Snower, Dennis J., 2012. "Institutions and training inequality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 88-104.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:1:p:88-104
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2011.09.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    2. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    3. David T. Coe & Dennis J. Snower, 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 1-35, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 1998. "Anatomy of Policy Complementarities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. repec:hhs:iuiwop:500 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 1998. "Anatomy of policy complementarities," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2252, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Adam J. Grossberg & Paul Sicilian, 1999. "Minimum Wages, On-the-Job Training, and Wage Growth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 539-556, January.
    9. Daron Acemoglu, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 445-464.
    10. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
    11. Wolfgang Lechthaler, 2009. "The interaction of firing costs and firm training," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 331-350, August.
    12. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
    13. Green, Francis, 1993. "The Determinants of Training of Male and Female Employees in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(1), pages 103-122, February.
    14. Booth, Alison L, 1993. "Private Sector Training and Graduate Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 164-170, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Firm training; Skill inequality; Institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:1:p:88-104. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.