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

Author

Listed:
  • Dionisius, Regina

    (BIBB)

  • Mühlemann, Samuel

    (University of Munich)

  • Pfeifer, Harald

    (BIBB)

  • Walden, Günter

    (BIBB)

  • Wenzelmann, Felix

    (BIBB)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    (University of Bern)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dionisius, Regina & Mühlemann, Samuel & Pfeifer, Harald & Walden, Günter & Wenzelmann, Felix & Wolter, Stefan C., 2008. "Cost and Benefit of Apprenticeship Training: A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 3465, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3465
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Muehlemann, Samuel & Wolter, Stefan C., 2007. "Regional effects on employer-provided training: Evidence from apprenticeship training in Switzerland," 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 135-147.
    2. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 11, pages 521-576, Elsevier.
    3. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Why do firms train apprentices? The net cost puzzle reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 631-637, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Stefan C. Wolter, 2008. "Ausbildungskosten und -nutzen und die betriebliche Nachfrage nach Lehrlingen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(s1), pages 90-108, May.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 79-119.
    8. Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of the Decision to Train Apprentices," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(3), pages 419-441, September.
    9. Stefan C. Wolter & Samuel Mühlemann & Jürg Schweri, 2006. "Why Some Firms Train Apprentices and Many Others Do Not," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(3), pages 249-264, August.
    10. 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, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    11. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    12. 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.
    13. Walden, Günter, 2007. "Short-term and long-term benefits as determinants of the training behaviour of companies," 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 169-191.
    14. Lindley, Robert M, 1975. "The Demand for Apprentice Recruits by the Engineering Industry, 1951-71," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 22(1), pages 1-24, February.
    15. Stefan C. Wolter & Samuel Mühlemann & Jürg Schweri, 2006. "Why Some Firms Train Apprentices and Many Others Do Not," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(3), pages 249-264, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cost and benefit analysis; apprenticeship training;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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