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Local Norms Describing the Role of the State and the Private Provision of Training

Author

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  • Andreas Kuhn

    () (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, University of Bern, IZA)

  • Juerg Schweri

    (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, University of Bern)

  • Stefan C. Wolter

    (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education, CESifo, IZA)

Abstract

Apprenticeship systems are essentially based on the voluntary participation of firms that provide (and usually also finance) training positions, often incurring considerable net training costs. One potential, yet under-researched explanation for this behavior is that firms act in accordance with the norms and expectations they face with in the local labor market in which they operate. In this paper, we focus on the Swiss apprenticeship system and ask whether local norms towards the private, rather than the public, provision of training influence firms' decisions to offer apprenticeship positions. In line with this hypothesis, we find that the training incidence is higher in communities characterized by a stronger norm towards the private provision of training, which we measure using local results from two national-level plebiscites that explicitly dealt with the role of the state in the context of the apprenticeship system. This finding turns out to be robust to a series of alternative specifications and robustness checks, as well as to an instrumental-variable strategy that tackles the issue of potential endogeneity of normative attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Kuhn & Juerg Schweri & Stefan C. Wolter, 2019. "Local Norms Describing the Role of the State and the Private Provision of Training," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0157, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0157
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public goods; private provision of training; social norms; normative attitudes towards the role of the state; vocational education and training; apprenticeship training;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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