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Why has the share of training firms declined in Switzerland?

Author

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  • Schweri, Juerg
  • Mueller, Barbara

Abstract

"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)

Suggested Citation

  • Schweri, Juerg & Mueller, Barbara, 2007. "Why has the share of training firms declined 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 149-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabzaf:v:2007:i:2/3:p:149-167
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    3. Robert W. Fairlie, 2003. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Technique to Logit and Probit Models," Working Papers 873, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    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. 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, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of the Decision to Train Apprentices," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(3), pages 419-441, September.
    8. Malcomson, James M. & Maw, James W. & McCormick, Barry, 2003. "General training by firms, apprentice contracts, and public policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 197-227, April.
    9. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    10. Fairlie, Robert W., 2003. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Technique to Logit and Probit Models," Center Discussion Papers 28425, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    11. 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.
    12. 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, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bellmann Lutz & Gerner Hans-Dieter & Leber Ute, 2014. "Firm-Provided Training During the Great Recession," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(1), pages 5-22, February.
    2. Mühlemann, Samuel & Wolter, Stefan C. & Wüest, Adrian, 2009. "Apprenticeship Training and the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 4460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Laia Castany, 2010. "The role of size in firms' training: evidence from Spain," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(5), pages 563-584, August.
    4. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan Wolter, 2014. "Return on investment of apprenticeship systems for enterprises: Evidence from cost-benefit analyses," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-22, December.
    5. Mirjam Strupler Leiser & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of Social Public Procurement Policy: The Case of the Swiss Apprenticeship Training System," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(2), pages 204-222, June.
    6. Goerlitz, Katja, 2009. "The Development of Employers' Training Investments Over Time – A Decomposition Analysis Using German Establishment Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 87, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Guerrazzi, Marco, 2014. "Workforce ageing and the training propensity of Italian firms: cross-sectional evidence from the INDACO survey," MPRA Paper 56826, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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