General and Specific Training: Evidence and Implications
Using data from the Employer Opportunity Pilot Project (EOPP) survey and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), we explicitly document the specificity and generality of employer-provided training, and we analyze how wage growth and mobility are influenced by our direct measures of specific and general training. In spite of the emphasis that labor economists have placed on specific training, we find that employers in the EOPP and workers in the NLSY indicate that most of the skills learned in training are useful elsewhere. Our results are consistent with several recent models that predict that employers will often extract some of the returns to the general training they provide.
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