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Does Training Generally Work? The Returns to In-Company Training

Author

Listed:
  • Barrett, Alan

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

  • O'Connell, Philip J.

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

Abstract

This paper applies the familiar theoretical distinction between general and specific training to the empirical task of estimating the returns to in-company training. Using a firm-level dataset which distinguishes between general and specific training, we test for the relative effects of the two types of training on productivity growth. We find that although general training has a statistically positive effect on productivity growth, no such effect is observable for specific training. This positive effect of general training remains when we control for factors such as changes in work organisation and corporate re-structuring, firm size and the initial level of human capital in the enterprise. Moreover, the impact of general training varies positively with the level of capital investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrett, Alan & O'Connell, Philip J., 1999. "Does Training Generally Work? The Returns to In-Company Training," IZA Discussion Papers 51, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp51
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1995. "Beyond the Incidence of Training: Evidence from a National Employers Survey," NBER Working Papers 5231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
    3. Black, Sandra E & Lynch, Lisa M, 1996. "Human-Capital Investments and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 263-267, May.
    4. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    General training; specific training; productivity growth;

    JEL classification:

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

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