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Sector-Specific Training and Mobility in Germany

  • Lars Vilhuber

This article studies mobility patterns of German workers in light of a model of sector-specific human capital. Furthermore, I employ and describe little-used data on continuous on-the-job training occuring after apprenticeships. Results are presented describing the incidence and duration of continuous training. Continuous training is quite common, depite the high incidence of apprenticeships which precedes this part of a worker's career. Most previous studies have only distinguished between firm-specific and general human capital, generally concluding that training was general. Inconsistent with those conclusions, I show that German men are more likely to find a job within the same sector if they have received continuous training in that sector. These results are similar to results obtained for young U.S. workers, and suggest that sector-specific capital is an important feature of very different labor markets. Furthermore, the results suggest that the observed effect of training on mobility is sensitive to the state of the business cycle, indicating a more complex interaction between supply and demand that most theoretical models allow for. Cet article étudie la mobilité des travailleurs allemands à la lumière d'un modèle de capital humain dont la spécificité est sectorielle. En outre, j'utilise et décris des données peu utilisées sur la formation formelle ayant lieu après la fin d'un apprentissage. Comparativement aux États-Unis, un plus grand nombre de travailleurs suit une formation annuellement, et ce en dépit d'une incidence élévée d'apprentissage précédent. Tandis que plusieurs autres études font uniquement une distinction entre capital humain spécifique à une seule firme et capital humain général, je montre que les travailleurs allemands ont une plus grande probabilité de trouver un emploi dans un secteur s'ils ont suivi une formation formelle dans ce secteur. Ce résultat n'est cohérent ni avec la présence de capital humain spécifique à une seule firme, ni avec du capital humain complètement général. Conjointement avec des résultats semblables pour des travailleurs américains, il suggère l'importance du capital humain spécifique à l'industrie. Par ailleurs, l'effet de la formation sur la mobilité semble sensible à l'état de la conjoncture, suggérant une relation entre offre et demande plus complexe que celle décrite par la plupart des modèles théoriques.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 99s-03.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:99s-03
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  1. Leon Muszynski & David A. Wolfe, 1989. "New Technology and Training: Lessons from Abroad," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 15(3), pages 245-264, September.
  2. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, March.
  3. Barron, John M & Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1997. "How Well Do We Measure Training?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 507-28, July.
  4. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Daniel Parent, 1995. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the NLSY and the PSID," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-26, CIRANO.
  7. Parent, D., 1995. "Wages and Mobility: the Impact of Employer-Provided Training," Cahiers de recherche 9507, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2000. "Continuous Training In Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 2428, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Thomas, Jonathan M, 1996. "An Empirical Model of Sectoral Movements by Unemployed Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 126-53, January.
  10. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  11. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  12. A. Werwatz, 1997. "Mobility after Apprenticeship- How effective is the German apprenticeship system?," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1997,75, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  13. Sandell, Steven H, 1977. "Women and the Economics of Family Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(4), pages 406-14, November.
  14. Loewenstein, Mark A & Spletzer, James R, 1998. "Dividing the Costs and Returns to General Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 142-71, January.
  15. David Soskice, 1994. "Reconciling Markets and Institutions: The German Apprenticeship System," NBER Chapters, in: Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons, pages 25-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Dietmar Harhoff & Thomas J. Kane, 1993. "Financing Apprenticeship Training: Evidence from Germany," NBER Working Papers 4557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Lisa M. Lynch, 1992. "Differential Effects of Post-School Training on Early Career Mobility," NBER Working Papers 4034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. A. Werwatz, 1996. "How firm-specific is German apprenticeship training?," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,12, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  19. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  20. Rainer Winkelmann, 1996. "Employment Prospects and Skill Acquisition of Apprenticeship-Trained Workers in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(4), pages 658-672, July.
  21. Lars Vilhuber, 1997. "Sector-Specific On-the-Job Training: Evidence from U.S. Data," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-42, CIRANO.
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