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Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the U.S. labor market?

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas J. Kane

    () (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research , 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA)

  • Dietmar Harhoff

    () (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung and University of Mannheim, L 7,1, D-68161 Mannheim, Germany , and CEPR, London)

Abstract

This paper explores the structure of incentives undergirding the German system of apprenticeship training. We first describe characteristics of the German labor market which may lead firms to accept part of the cost of general training, even in the face of worker turnover. We then compare labor market outcomes for apprentices in Germany and high school graduates in the United States. Apprentices in Germany occupy a similar position within the German wage structure as held by high school graduates in the United States labor market. Finally, we provide evidence that - in both countries - the problem of forming labor market bonds is particularly acute for minority youth. JEL classification: J24, J31, J60

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Kane & Dietmar Harhoff, 1997. "Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the U.S. labor market?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 171-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:10:y:1997:i:2:p:171-196
    Note: Received: July 4, 1996 / Accepted February 4, 1997
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    Keywords

    Apprenticeship training · human capital · wage distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

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