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

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  • 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 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0106
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    Cited by:

    1. Esther Mirjam Girsberger & Miriam Rinawi & Matthias Krapf, 2018. "Wages and employment: The role of occupational skills," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0153, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    2. Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt, 2019. "Putting Tasks to the Test: The Case of Germany," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 7(3), pages 122-135.
    3. Patricia Palffy & Patrick Lehnert & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2021. "Social Norms and Gender-Typical Occupational Choices," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0183, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    4. Seifried, Mareike & Jurowetzki, Roman & Kretschmer, Tobias, 2020. "Career paths in online labor markets: Same, same but different?," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-090, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    5. Lisa Simon, 2018. "Shocking Choice: Trade Shocks, Local Labor Markets and Vocational Occupation Choices," ifo Working Paper Series 281, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Lehnert, Patrick & Pfister, Curdin & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2020. "Employment of R&D personnel after an educational supply shock: Effects of the introduction of Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    7. Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2021. "Insights into the Economic Benefits of VPET for Individuals: Theoretical and Empirical Results for Researchers and Practitioners," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0180, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    8. Christian Eggenberger & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2020. "IT Skills, Occupation Specificity and Job Separations," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0172, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    9. Lisa Simon, 2019. "Mikroökonometrische Analysen der Determinanten von Individuellem Arbeitsmarkterfolg," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 83, May.
    10. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Patrick Lehnert, 2021. "The Contribution of Vocational Education and Training to Innovation and Growth," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0177, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    11. Irene Kriesi & Juerg Schweri, 2019. "Types of Education, Achievement and Labour Market Integration over the Life Course," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 7(3), pages 58-64.
    12. Fabienne Kiener & Ann-Sophie Gnehm & Simon Clematide & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2019. "Different Types of IT Skills in Occupational Training Curricula and Labor Market Outcomes," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0159, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    13. Fabienne Kiener & Ann-Sophie Gnehm & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2020. "Non-Cognitive Skills in Training Curricula and Heterogeneous Wage Returns," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0175, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    14. Esther Mirjam Girsberger & Miriam Rinawi & Matthias Krapf, 2018. "Wages and employment: The role of occupational skills," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0153, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    15. Christian Eggenberger & Simon Janssen & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2019. "The Value of Specific Skills under Shock: High Risks and High Returns," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0158, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Mar 2021.
    16. Miriam Grønning & Ines Trede, 2019. "Does It Matter Where They Train? Transitions into Higher Education After VET and the Role of Labour Market Segments," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 7(3), pages 65-78.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    vocational education and training; occupational mobility; human capital specificity; training curricula;
    All these keywords.

    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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