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Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Jörn-Steffen Pischke

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 79-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:1:p:79-119.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355398555531
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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