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Why has the share of training firms declined in Switzerland?

  • Schweri, Juerg
  • Mueller, Barbara

"The Swiss mass apprenticeship system is market based. The share of training firms as a percentage of all firms is therefore an indicator which receives much public attention. The share of training firms declined markedly from 1985 to 2001, dropping from 24.7 to 17.6%. This has often been interpreted as a sign of firms' decreasing willingness to train apprentices. We use data from the firm census to assess whether the decline in the share of training firms can instead be explained by a range of independent variables. Besides firm characteristics and regional variables, we include supply-side factors such as demographic developments in the relevant age cohorts, which have been ignored in the empirical literature so far. Using pooled probit models, fixed-effects models and a Blinder-Oaxaca type decomposition, we are able to explain the variation in the share of training firms over time to a large extent. The main reasons for the decrease are increasing numbers of very small firms, shifts in industry composition, a reduction in the number of young people and an increasing share of young people going to grammar school. We discuss these developments in turn and conclude that they do not, in our opinion, provide sufficient reasons for state interventions in the apprenticeship market." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en)) Additional Information Kurzfassung (deutsch) Executive summary (English)

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Article provided by Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany] in its journal Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung – Journal for Labour Market Research.

Volume (Year): 40 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2/3 ()
Pages: 149-167

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Handle: RePEc:iab:iabzaf:v:2007:i:2/3:p:149-167
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  1. 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.
  2. Fairlie, Robert W., 2006. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Technique to Logit and Probit Models," IZA Discussion Papers 1917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 2000. "Certification of training and training outcomes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 917-927, May.
  5. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2006. "Regional Effects on Employer Provided Training: Evidence from Apprenticeship Training in Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 1665, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. 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.
  7. Malcomson, James M. & Maw, James W. & McCormick, Barry, 2000. "General training by firms, apprentice contracts, and public policy," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0021, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  8. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  10. Stefan C. Wolter & Samuel Mühlemann & Jürg Schweri, 2006. "Why Some Firms Train Apprentices and Many Others Do Not," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 249-264, 08.
  11. Edwin Leuven, 2005. "The Economics of Private Sector Training: A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 91-111, 02.
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