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Apprentice pay in Britain, Germany and Switzerland: institutions, market forces, market power

  • Paul Ryan

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    ()

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Silvia Teuber

    ()

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Karin Wagner

    (Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin)

Although trainee pay is central to the economics of work-based training, institutionalists have paid it little attention, while economists typically assume that it is set by market clearing. We document large differences in the pay of metalworking apprentices in three countries: relative to the pay of skilled employees, it is high in Britain, middling in Germany, and low in Switzerland. Combining fieldwork evidence with national survey data, we associate apprentice pay with both institutional attributes and market forces: specifically, with trade union presence and goals, employer organisation, the contractual status of apprentices, the supply of eligible and interested young people, and public subsidies. Apprentice pay appears to have fallen in Britain and Germany as bargaining coverage has declined.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0075_lhwpaper.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) in its series Economics of Education Working Paper Series with number 0075.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0075
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  1. Samuel Muehlemann & Paul Ryan & Stefan C. Wolter, 2013. "Monopsony Power, Pay Structure, and Training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(5), pages 1097-1114, October.
  2. Regina Dionisius & Samuel Muehlemann & Harald Pfeifer & Günter Walden & Felix Wenzelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2008. "Cost and Benefit of Apprenticeship Training – A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 2287, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2008. "Apprenticeship Training – What for? Investment in Human Capital or Substitute for Cheap Labour?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0017, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  4. Mühlemann, Samuel & Wolter, Stefan C. & Wüest, Adrian, 2009. "Apprenticeship Training and the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 4460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Stevens, Margaret, 1999. "Human Capital Theory and UK Vocational Training Policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 16-32, Spring.
  6. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  7. Addison, John T. & Bryson, Alex & Teixeira, Paulino & Pahnke, André & Bellmann, Lutz, 2010. "The State of Collective Bargaining and Worker Representation in Germany: The Erosion Continues," IZA Discussion Papers 5030, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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