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The long-term earnings consequences of general vs. specific training of the unemployed

  • Stenberg, Anders


    (Stockholm University)

  • Westerlund, Olle


    (Umeå University)

Training programs for the unemployed typically involve teaching a specific skill to ease the transition into employment. However, in 1997, the Swedish unemployed could choose general/theoretical training through enrollment in one year of full-time studies at the upper secondary school level. This study provides an empirical assessment of the relative earnings impact of general vs. specific training 13 years post-enrollment. In the long term, general training may compensate for the short-term relative earnings loss by enhancing the ability to adapt to changes in demand for skills. The analyses are based on population register data 1990-2010 and an unusually rich set of control variables. The results indicate that both programs are associated with earnings increases. Our relative program estimates reveal a short-term advantage of specific training that converges within 5-7 years. With a longer perspective, there is considerable heterogeneity in the relative earnings estimates. For females with short educations, the earnings increases following general training substantially exceed those following specific training.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2014:3.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 17 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2014_003
Contact details of provider: Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
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  10. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2004. "Long-run Effects of Public Sector Sponsored Training in West Germany," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-19, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  11. Kluve, Jochen, 2010. "The effectiveness of European active labor market programs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 904-918, December.
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  19. repec:sip:wpaper:11-003 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Stenberg, Anders, 2011. "Using longitudinal data to evaluate publicly provided formal education for low skilled," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1262-1280.
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  23. Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2014. "The Long-term Earnings Consequences of General vs. Specific Training of the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 8668, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  26. Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2008. "Does comprehensive education work for the long-term unemployed," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 54-67, February.
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