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Labor Productivity and Vocational Training: Evidence from Europe


  • Sala, Hector

    () (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Silva, José I.

    () (University of Kent)


In this paper we show that vocational training is an important determinant of productivity growth. We construct a multi-country, multi-sectoral dataset, and quantify empirically to what extent vocational training has contributed to increase the growth rate of labor productivity in Europe between 1999 and 2005. We find that one extra hour of training per employee accelerates the rate of productivity growth by around 0.55 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Sala, Hector & Silva, José I., 2011. "Labor Productivity and Vocational Training: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 6171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6171

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grund, Christian & Martin, Johannes, 2010. "Determinants of Further Training: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5315, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Easterly, William & King, Robert G & Levine, Ross & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Policy, Technology Adoption and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    7. Lorraine Dearden & Howard Reed & John Van Reenen, 2006. "The Impact of Training on Productivity and Wages: Evidence from British Panel Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(4), pages 397-421, August.
    8. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-183, May.
    9. Caponi Vincenzo & Kayahan Burc & Plesca Miana, 2010. "The Impact of Aggregate and Sectoral Fluctuations on Training Decisions," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-37, October.
    10. Sousounis, Panos & Bladen-Hovell, Robin, 2010. "Persistence in the determination of work-related training participation: Evidence from the BHPS, 1991-1997," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1005-1015, December.
    11. Jakob Madsen, 2008. "Semi-endogenous versus Schumpeterian growth models: testing the knowledge production function using international data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-26, March.
    12. Panos Sousounis & Robin Bladen-Hovell, 2009. "Persistence in the determination of work-related training participation: evidence from the BHPS, 1991-1997," Working Papers 0918, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    13. Madsen, Jakob B., 2010. "The anatomy of growth in the OECD since 1870," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 753-767, September.
    14. Jonathan Temple, 2006. "Aggregate Production Functions and Growth Economics," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 301-317.
    15. Centeno, Mário & Corrêa, Márcio, 2010. "Job matching, technological progress, and worker-provided on-the-job training," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 190-192, December.
    16. Cecilia ALBERT & Carlos GARCÍA-SERRANO & Virginia HERNANZ, 2010. "On-the-job training in Europe: Determinants and wage returns," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 149(3), pages 315-341, September.
    17. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schiersch, Alexander, 2016. "Considering the (Un)observed: temporary agency work in productivity estimations," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145749, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala & José Silva, 2015. "Real unit labour costs in Eurozone countries: drivers and clusters," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    3. Carlo Jaeger, 2014. "Choice for China: What Role for Vocational Education in Green Growth?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 22(5), pages 55-75, September.
    4. René Böheim, 2015. "Betriebliche Weiterbildung in österreichischen Unternehmen," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 41(3), pages 335-357.
    5. Alexander Schiersch, 2015. "TFP, Labor Productivity and the (Un)observed Labor Input: Temporary Agency Work," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1532, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Judzik, Dario & Sala, Hector, 2015. "The determinants of capital intensity in Japan and the US," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 78-98.

    More about this item


    continuous vocational training; labor productivity growth;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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