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Occupational Specificity: A new Measurement Based on Training Curricula and its Effect on Labor Market Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Eggenberger

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Miriam Rinawi

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper proposes a new measurement for the specificity of occupations based on a content analysis of training curricula that we link to labor market demands. We apply Lazear’s (2009) skill weights approach and test predictions on labor market outcomes derived from his theory. We find clear evidence of a trade-off between earning higher returns with more specific training and higher occupational mobility with less specific training. Our measure improves the micro-foundation of human capital specificity and provides an evidence-based approach to evaluate the specificity of training curricula.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Eggenberger & Miriam Rinawi & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2015. "Occupational Specificity: A new Measurement Based on Training Curricula and its Effect on Labor Market Outcomes," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0106, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0106
    as

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    vocational education and training; occupational mobility; human capital specificity; training curricula;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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