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Wage Differentiation via Subsidised General Training

  • V. Bhaskar


  • Steinar Holden


We provide a new explanation for why firms pay for general training in a competitive labor market. If firms for informational or institutional reasons are unable to tailor wages according to ability, they will have an incentive to pay for general training in order to attract better quality workers. Under fairly weak conditions, we show that labor market equilibrium must involve subsidised general training. This does not require that firms capture a return in the form of a productivity rise induced by training that exceeds the wage rise. The market provision of training may well exceed the socially optimal level.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 549.

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Date of creation: 06 Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:549
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  8. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1990. "Investment in General Training: The Role of Information and Labour Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1147-58, December.
  9. Richard B. Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2000. "Skill Compression, Wage Differentials and Employment: Germany vs. the US," NBER Working Papers 7610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630 Elsevier.
  14. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training and the new minimum wage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C87-C94, 03.
  15. David H. Autor, 2000. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," NBER Working Papers 7637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Giorgio Brunello, 2002. "Is Training more Frequent when Wage Compression is Higher? Evidence from 11 European Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 637, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Arulampalam, Wiji & Alison L Booth & Mark L Bryan, 2003. "Work-related Training and the New National Minimum Wage in Britain," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 9, Royal Economic Society.
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