Why did (pre‐industrial) firms train?: premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England
Despite poor information flows, high levels of uncertainty, and low completion rates, training through apprenticeship provided the main mechanism for occupational human capital formation in pre‐industrial England. This paper demonstrates how training premiums complemented the formal legal framework surrounding apprenticeship to secure training contracts. Premiums compensated parties for the anticipated risk of default, but in most trades were small enough to allow access to apprenticeship training for youths from modest families.
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