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The Effect of Economic Downturns on Apprenticeships and Initial Workplace Training: A Review of the Evidence

Author

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  • Brunello, Giorgio

    () (University of Padova)

Abstract

The existing empirical evidence on the relationship between apprenticeships, initial workplace training and economic downturns, is relatively scarce. The bottom line of this literature is that ratio of apprentices to employees tends to be (mildly) pro-cyclical and to decline during a recession, with the notable exception of the Great Depression, when it rose (at least in England). When broader measures of training are considered, which exclude apprentices, the weight of the evidence is in favour of counter-cyclical training incidence. This paper suggests that a possible reconciliation of these findings is based on recognizing that firms may have incentives to train incumbents during a downturn and at the same time to reduce the recruitment and training of young employees, who are engaged in the transition from school to work.

Suggested Citation

  • Brunello, Giorgio, 2009. "The Effect of Economic Downturns on Apprenticeships and Initial Workplace Training: A Review of the Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 4326, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4326
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bassanini, Andrea & Brunello, Giorgio, 2007. "Barriers to Entry, Deregulation and Workplace Training," IZA Discussion Papers 2746, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2005. "A Structural Model of Demand for Apprentices," CESifo Working Paper Series 1417, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Jan Erik Askilden & Oivind Anti Nilsen, 2005. "Apprentices And Young Workers: A Study Of The Norwegian Youth Labour Market," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(1), pages 1-17, February.
    4. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "An Investment Model for the Supply of Training by Employers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 556-570, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mueller, Barbara & Wolter, Stefan C., 2011. "The Consequences of Being Different: Statistical Discrimination and the School-to-Work Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 5474, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Grace Weishi Gu, 2018. "Employment and the Cyclical Cost of Worker Benefits," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 96-120, April.
    3. Paul Ryan, 2011. "Apprenticeship: between theory and practice, school and workplace," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0064, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Oct 2011.
    4. Bellmann Lutz & Gerner Hans-Dieter & Leber Ute, 2014. "Firm-Provided Training During the Great Recession," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(1), pages 5-22, February.
    5. Mühlemann, Samuel & Wolter, Stefan C. & Wüest, Adrian, 2009. "Apprenticeship Training and the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 4460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic downturns; apprenticeship training;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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