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Cost and Benefit of Apprenticeship Training – A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland

  • Regina Dionisius
  • Samuel Muehlemann
  • Harald Pfeifer
  • Günter Walden
  • Felix Wenzelmann
  • Stefan C. Wolter

For the first time it has been made possible to merge a German and a Swiss firm-level data set that include detailed information about costs and benefits of apprenticeship training. Previous analyzes based only on aggregate data showed that the net costs of training apprentices are substantial in Germany, whereas apprenticeship training is on average profitable during the training period for firms in Switzerland, even though the two training systems are rather similar. This paper analyzes the reasons for these differences with matching methods. We simulate the impact of changes in certain parameters such as wages, apprenticeship system-related factors and allocation of tasks to apprentices on the cost-benefit ratio using the counterfactual values of the other country. The results show that most of the difference in the net costs of training between the two countries can be explained by a higher share of productive tasks allocated to apprentices in Switzerland and the differences in relative wages.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2287.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2287
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  1. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Why do firms train apprentices? The net cost puzzle reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 631-637, December.
  2. Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Joern-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," Working papers 98-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 78-118, February.
  5. Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of the Decision to Train Apprentices," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(3), pages 419-441, 09.
  6. Thomas Zwick, 2007. "Apprenticeship Training in Germany? Investment or Productivity Driven?," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-023, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Stefan C. Wolter, 2008. "Ausbildungskosten und -nutzen und die betriebliche Nachfrage nach Lehrlingen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(s1), pages 90-108, 05.
  8. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2006. "Regional Effects on Employer Provided Training: Evidence from Apprenticeship Training in Switzerland," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0001, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  9. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2008. "Apprenticeship Training – What for? Investment in Human Capital or Substitute for Cheap Labour?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0017, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  10. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
  11. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  12. 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, 08.
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