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Occupation-specific human capital and local labour markets


  • Jeffrey A. Groen


Most skills acquired through on-the-job training may be specific to an occupation and therefore transferable to some but not all firms. This paper explores the relationship between the size of the local market for an occupation-specific skill and job-training outcomes. The Stevens (1994) model of training predicts that as market size increases, job turnover increases and training becomes more general. I test these predictions using data on blue-collar workers and variation in market size across US metropolitan areas. The empirical results support the theoretical predictions and the impacts are most relevant at low levels of market size. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey A. Groen, 2006. "Occupation-specific human capital and local labour markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 722-741, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:58:y:2006:i:4:p:722-741

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. W. J. Corlett & D. C. Hague, 1953. "Complementarity and the Excess Burden of Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 21-30.
    2. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "A Note on the Structure of Optimal Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 701-706, September.
    3. Sadka, Efraim, 1977. "A theorem on uniform taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 387-391, June.
    4. Niels Fredriksen & Peter Hansen & Henrik Jacobsen & Peter Sørensen, 1995. "Subsidising consumer services: effects on employment, welfare and the informal economy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 71-93, May.
    5. Sandmo, Agnar, 1990. "Tax Distortions and Household Production," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 78-90, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Derek C. Jones & Panu Kalmi & Antti Kauhanen, 2012. "The effects of general and firm-specific training on wages and performance: evidence from banking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(1), pages 151-175, January.
    2. Bleakley, Hoyt & Lin, Jeffrey, 2012. "Thick-market effects and churning in the labor market: Evidence from US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 87-103.

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