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

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  • By Barbara Mueller
  • Jürg Schweri

Abstract

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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  • By Barbara Mueller & Jürg Schweri, 2015. "How specific is apprenticeship training? Evidence from inter-firm and occupational mobility after graduation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1057-1077.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:67:y:2015:i:4:p:1057-1077.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Moretti & Martin Mayerl & Samuel Muehlemann & Peter Schloegl & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "So similar and yet so different: A comparative analysis of a firm's net costs and post-apprenticeship training benefits in Austria and Switzerland," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0137, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Apr 2018.
    2. Moretti, Luca & Mayerl, Martin & Mühlemann, Samuel & Schlögl, Peter & Wolter, Stefan C., 2017. "So Similar and Yet So Different: A Comparative Analysis of a Firm's Cost and Benefits of Apprenticeship Training in Austria and Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 11081, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Licklederer, Stefanie & Zwiener, Hanna, 2015. "Mobility across firms and occupations among graduates from apprenticeship," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 138-151.
    4. repec:eee:labeco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:97-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Peter Hoeschler & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2017. "The Relative Importance of Personal Characteristics for the Hiring of Young Workers," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0142, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Jan 2018.
    6. Eggenberger, Christian & Rinawi, Miriam & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2018. "Occupational specificity: A new measurement based on training curricula and its effect on labor market outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 97-107.

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