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Reverse Educational Spillovers at the Firm Level

Author

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  • Uschi Backes-Gellner
  • Christian Rupietta
  • Simone N. Tuor

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine spillover effects across differently educated workers. For the first time, we consider "reverse" spillover effects, i.e. spillover effects from secondary-educated workers with dual vocational education and training (VET) to tertiary-educated workers with academic education. We argue that, due to structural differences in training methodology and content, secondary-educated workers with VET degrees have knowledge that tertiary academically educated workers do not have. Design/methodology/approach: We use data from a large employer-employee data set: the Swiss earnings structure survey. We estimate OLS and fixed effects panel-data models to identify such "reverse" spillover effects. Moreover we consider the endogenous workforce composition. Findings: We find that tertiary-educated workers have higher productivity when working together with secondary-educated workers with VET degrees. Our instrumental variable estimations support this finding. The functional form of the reverse spillover effect is inverted-U-shaped. This means that at first the reverse spillover effect from an additional secondary-educated worker is positive but diminishing. Research limitations/implications: Our results imply that firms need to combine different types of workers because their different kinds of knowledge produce spillover effects and thereby lead to overall higher productivity. Originality/value: The traditional view of spillover effects assumes that tertiary-educated workers create spillover effects towards secondary-educated workers. However, we show that workers who differ in their type of education (academic vs. vocational) may also create reverse spillover effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner & Christian Rupietta & Simone N. Tuor, 2011. "Reverse Educational Spillovers at the Firm Level," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0065, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0065
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Bentsen, Kristian Hedeager & Munch, Jakob R. & Schaur, Georg, 2019. "Education spillovers within the workplace," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 57-59.
    3. Jürges Hendrik, 2014. "Bildungspolitik versus Gesundheitspolitik – Evidenzbasierte Interventionen gegen soziale Ungleichheit in Gesundheit," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 15(3), pages 246-255, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Informational Spillovers; Earnings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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