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Cost and Benefit of Apprenticeship Training: A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland

  • Dionisius, Regina

    (BIBB)

  • Mühlemann, Samuel

    ()

    (University of Munich)

  • Pfeifer, Harald

    ()

    (BIBB)

  • Walden, Günter

    ()

    (BIBB)

  • Wenzelmann, Felix

    ()

    (BIBB)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    ()

    (University of Bern)

For the first time it has been made possible to merge a German and a Swiss firm-level data set that include detailed information about costs and benefits of apprenticeship training. Previous analyses based only on aggregate data showed that the net costs of training apprentices are substantial in Germany, whereas apprenticeship training is on average profitable during the training period for firms in Switzerland, even though the two training systems are rather similar. This paper analyzes the reasons for these differences with matching methods. We simulate the impact of changes in certain parameters such as wages, apprenticeship system-related factors and allocation of tasks to apprentices on the cost-benefit ratio using the counterfactual values of the other country. The results show that most of the difference in the net costs of training between the two countries can be explained by a higher share of productive tasks allocated to apprentices in Switzerland and the differences in relative wages.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3465.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics Quarterly, 2009, 55(1), 7-36
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3465
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  1. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2006. "Regional Effects on Employer Provided Training: Evidence from Apprenticeship Training in Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 1665, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  3. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan C. Wolter & Jürg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann, 2007. "An empirical analysis of the decision to train apprentices," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0005, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  4. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas, 2008. "Why Do Firms Train Apprentices? The Net Cost Puzzle Reconsidered," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-019, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
  7. 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).
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stefan C. Wolter, 2008. "Ausbildungskosten und -nutzen und die betriebliche Nachfrage nach Lehrlingen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 90-108, 08.
  11. Zwick, Thomas, 2007. "Apprenticeship training in Germany - investment or productivity driven?," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 40(2/3), pages 193-204.
  12. Wolter, Stefan C. & Mühlemann, Samuel & Schweri, Jürg, 2003. "Why Some Firms Train Apprentices and Many Others Do Not," IZA Discussion Papers 916, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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