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

Author

Listed:
  • Stenberg, Anders

    () (Stockholm University)

  • Westerlund, Olle

    () (Umeå University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2014. "The long-term earnings consequences of general vs. specific training of the unemployed," Working Paper Series 2014:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2014_003
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    Cited by:

    1. López Mourelo, Elva & Escudero, Verónica, 2017. "Effectiveness of Active Labor Market Tools in Conditional Cash Transfers Programs: Evidence for Argentina," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 422-447.
    2. Bart H. H. Golsteyn & Anders Stenberg, 2017. "Earnings over the Life Course: General versus Vocational Education," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(2), pages 167-212.
    3. repec:oup:cesifo:v:63:y:2017:i:3:p:255-269. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Franziska Hampf & Ludger Woessmann, 2017. "Vocational vs. General Education and Employment over the Life Cycle: New Evidence from PIAAC," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(3), pages 255-269.
    5. Anders Stenberg & Olle Westerlund, 2015. "The long-term earnings consequences of general vs. specific training of the unemployed," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, December.
    6. repec:cep:cverdp:003 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2015. "The Early Labour Market Effects of Generally and Vocationally Oriented Higher Education: Is There a Trade-off?," IZA Discussion Papers 9137, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Jan O. Jonsson & Carina Mood & Erik Bihagen, 2016. "Poverty trends during two recessions and two recoveries: lessons from Sweden 1991–2013," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Active labor market programs; adult education; vocational training; general training;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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