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How specific is apprenticeship training? Evidence from inter-firm and occupational mobility after graduation

Listed author(s):
  • By Barbara Mueller
  • Jürg Schweri

Do apprenticeships convey mainly general or also firm- and occupation-specific human capital? Specific human capital may allow for specialization gains, but may also lead to allocative inefficiency due to mobility barriers. We analyse the case of Switzerland, which combines a comprehensive, high-quality apprenticeship system with a lightly regulated labour market. To assess human capital transferability after standardized firm-based apprenticeship training, we analyse inter-firm and occupational mobility and their effects on post-training wages. Using a longitudinal data set based on the PISA 2000 survey, we find high inter-firm and low occupational mobility within one year after graduation. Accounting for endogenous changes, we find a negative effect of occupation changes on wages, but no significant wage effect for firm changes. This indicates that occupation-specific human capital is an important component of apprenticeship training and that skills are highly transferable within an occupational field.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpv040
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 67 (2015)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1057-1077

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:67:y:2015:i:4:p:1057-1077.
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