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Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Jörn-Steffen Pischke

This paper offers a theory of training whereby workers do not pay for the general training they receive. The superior information of the current employer regarding its employees' abilities relative to other firms creates ex post monopsony power, and encourages this employer to provide and pay for training, even if these skills are general. The model can lead to multiple equlibria. In one equilibrium quits are endogenously high, and as a result employers have limited monopsony power and provide little training, while in another equilibrium quits are low and training is high. Using microdata on German apprentices, we show that the predictions of our model receive some support from the data.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355398555531
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 113 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 79-119

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Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:1:p:79-119.
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  1. Dietmar Harhoff & Thomas J. Kane, 1993. "Financing Apprenticeship Training: Evidence from Germany," NBER Working Papers 4557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Entorf, Horst & Gollac, Michel & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "New Technologies, Wages, and Worker Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 464-491, July.
  3. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-380, October.
  4. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Job Security in America: Lessons from Germany," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number kagsnh1993.
  5. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-215, April.
  6. repec:nsr:niesrd:10 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Abe Yukiko, 1994. "Specific Capital, Adverse Selection, and Turnover: A Comparison of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 272-292, September.
  8. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, November.
  9. Nicholas Oulton & Hilary Steedman, 1994. "The British System of Youth Training: A Comparison with Germany," NBER Chapters,in: Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons, pages 61-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Michael Waldman, 1984. "Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 255-267, Summer.
  11. Daron Acemoglu, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 445-464.
  12. James Heckman, 1993. "Assessing Clinton's Program on Job Training, Workfare, and Education in the Workplace," NBER Working Papers 4428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
  14. David Soskice, 1994. "Reconciling Markets and Institutions: The German Apprenticeship System," NBER Chapters,in: Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons, pages 25-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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