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A Structural Model of Demand for Apprentices


  • Samuel Muehlemann
  • Juerg Schweri
  • Rainer Winkelmann
  • Stefan C. Wolter


It is a widely held opinion that apprenticeship training represents a net investment for training firms, and that therefore firms only train if they have the possibility to recoup these investments after the training period. A recent study using a new firm-level dataset for Switzerland showed, however, that for 60 percent of the firms, the apprenticeship training itself does not result in net cost. In this context it seems important to examine the question whether the potential net cost of training (during the training period) are a major determinant for the demand for apprentices. Different count data models, in particular hurdle models, are used to estimate the effect of net cost on the demand for apprentices. The results show that the net cost has a significant impact on the training decision but no significant influence on the demand for apprentices, once the firm has decided to train. For policy purposes, these results indicate that subsidies for firms that already train apprentices would not boost the demand for apprentices.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2005. "A Structural Model of Demand for Apprentices," CESifo Working Paper Series 1417, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1417

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Niederalt, Michael & Schnabel, Claus & Kaiser, Christian, 2001. "Betriebliches Ausbildungsverhalten zwischen Kosten-Nutzen-Kalkül und gesellschaftlicher Verantwortung: Einflussfaktoren der Ausbildungsintensität von deutschen Betrieben," Discussion Papers 7, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. Klaus Stöger & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2001. "Lehrlingsausbildung in Österreich: Welche Betriebe bilden Lehrlinge aus?," Economics working papers 2001-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
    6. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Mullahy, John, 1986. "Specification and testing of some modified count data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 341-365, December.
    9. Rainer Winkelmann, 2002. "Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits � An Econometric Analysis," SOI - Working Papers 0210, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    10. Stefan C. Wolter & Samuel Mühlemann & Jürg Schweri, 2006. "Why Some Firms Train Apprentices and Many Others Do Not," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 249-264, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brunello, Giorgio, 2009. "The Effect of Economic Downturns on Apprenticeships and Initial Workplace Training: A Review of the Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 4326, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2008. "Training Propensity of Start-ups in Switzerland - A Study Based on Data for the Start-up Cohort 1996-97," KOF Working papers 08-199, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    3. Dennis L. Gärtner, 2010. "Monopolistic screening under learning by doing," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 574-597.
    4. Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "A unified approach to comparative statics puzzles in experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 212-223, January.
    5. Spyros Arvanitis, 2008. "Are Firm Innovativeness and Firm Age Relevant for the Supply of Vocational Training? - A Study Based on Swiss Micro Data," KOF Working papers 08-198, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    6. Stefan Boes, 2013. "Nonparametric analysis of treatment effects in ordered response models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 81-109, February.
    7. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Halbheer, Daniel, 2009. "Are there waves in merger activity after all?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 708-718, November.
    8. Simon Loertscher & Yves Schneider, 2005. "Switching Costs, Firm Size, and Market Structure," SOI - Working Papers 0508, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    9. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2006. "Distinguishing Companies with Different Apprenticeship Training Motivations – Evidence from German Establishment Data," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0007, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    10. Helga Fehr-Duda & Adrian Bruhin & Thomas Epper & Renate Schubert, 2010. "Rationality on the rise: Why relative risk aversion increases with stake size," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 147-180, April.
    11. Boris Krey & Peter Zweifel, 2006. "Efficient Electricity Portfolios for Switzerland and the United States," SOI - Working Papers 0602, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    12. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2011. "Foreign direct investment and R&D-offshoring," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 134-157, January.
    13. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2006. "Regional Effects on Employer Provided Training: Evidence from Apprenticeship Training in Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 1665, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Peter Zweifel & Harry Telser & Stephan Vaterlaus, 2005. "Consumer Resistance Against Regulation: The Case of Health Care," SOI - Working Papers 0505, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    15. Boes, Stefan & Lipp, Markus & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2007. "Money illusion under test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 332-337, March.
    16. Patrick Eugster & Peter Zweifel, 2006. "Correlated Risks: A Conflict of Interest Between Insurers and Consumers and Its Resolution," SOI - Working Papers 0604, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    17. Lee, Kye Woo, 2016. "Skills Training by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Innovative Cases and the Consortium Approach in the Republic of Korea," ADBI Working Papers 579, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    18. Sandra Hanslin, 2008. "The effect of trade openness on optimal government size under endogenous firm entry," SOI - Working Papers 0802, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    19. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2006. "Ordered response models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 90(1), pages 167-181, March.
    20. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "A Product-Market Theory of Industry-Specific Training," SOI - Working Papers 0610, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.

    More about this item


    apprenticeship training; count data; probit-Poisson-log-normal model; Switzerland;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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