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

Listed author(s):
  • 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)

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 skill weights theory and test predictions on labor market outcomes derived from his theory. We find clear evidence for a trade-off between earning higher returns with more specific training and better occupational mobility options 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 and to improve the fit of occupational curricula with labor market requirements.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0106_lhwpaper.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW) in its series Economics of Education Working Paper Series with number 0106.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2015
Date of revision: 2017
Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0106
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  1. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
  2. Spiros Bougheas & Yannis Georgellis, 2004. "Early Career Mobility and Earnings Profiles of German Apprentices: Theory and Empirical Evidence," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 18(2), pages 233-263, 06.
  3. Bleakley, Hoyt & Lin, Jeffrey, 2012. "Thick-market effects and churning in the labor market: Evidence from US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 87-103.
  4. Tomas Korpi & Antje Mertens, 2003. "Training Systems and Labor Mobility: A Comparison between Germany and Sweden," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 597-617, December.
  5. Chris Robinson, 2011. "Occupational Mobility, Occupation Distance and Specific Human Capital," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20115, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & Guido Schwerdt & Ludger Woessmann & Lei Zhang, 2017. "General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Lifecycle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(1), pages 48-87.
  7. Bublitz, Elisabeth, 2013. "Matching Skills of Individuals and Firms Along the Career Path," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79742, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  8. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
  9. Sullivan, Paul, 2010. "Empirical evidence on occupation and industry specific human capital," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 567-580, June.
  10. Bernd Fitzenberger & Astrid Kunze, 2005. "Vocational Training and Gender: Wages and Occupational Mobility among Young Workers," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 392-415, Autumn.
  11. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-677, October.
  12. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys, 1984-2000," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 387-420, 07.
  13. Kritkorn Nawakitphaitoon, 2014. "Occupational Human Capital and Wages: The Role of Skills Transferability Across Occupations," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 63-87, March.
  14. Miriam Rinawi & Matthias Krapf & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2014. "Labor market transitions after layoffs: the role of occupational skills," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0103, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  15. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2008. "General Education vs. Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition," NBER Working Papers 14155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Parrado, Eric & Caner, Asena & Wolff, Edward N., 2007. "Occupational and industrial mobility in the United States," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 435-455, June.
  17. Edward P. Lazear, 2009. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 914-940, October.
  18. Christina Gathmann & Uta Schönberg, 2010. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-49, 01.
  19. Wiederhold, Simon & Nedelkoska, Ljubica & Neffke, Frank, 2013. "The Impact of Skill Mismatch on Earnings Losses after Job Displacement," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79739, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  20. Parent, Daniel, 2000. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 306-323, April.
  21. Regula Geel & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0047, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  22. Alexandra Fedorets, 2011. "Time-Varying Occupational Contents: An Additional Link between Occupational Task Profiles and Individual Wages," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-074, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  23. repec:sip:wpaper:11-003 is not listed on IDEAS
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