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General Human Capital and Employment Adjustment in the Great Depression: Apprentices and Journeymen in UK Engineering

  • Hart, Robert A.

    ()

    (University of Stirling)

The relationship between training and firm-level employment adjustment given an unanticipated fall in product demand has been central to human capital theory. The most cataclysmic negative output shock occurred in 1929/30. At this time, easily the most important source of United Kingdom general training was the apprenticeship system. Using data collected by the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), this paper examines the impact of the Great Depression on numbers of apprentices and skilled journeymen. Statistics cover eight skilled engineering occupations in 38 local labour markets over the period 1928- 1938. Relative employment adjustment responses of apprentices and journeymen accord well with general human capital arguments.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 799.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Economic Papers, 2005, 57 (1), 169-189
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp799
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  1. Bean, C., 1989. "Endogenous Growth And The Procyclical Behaviour Of Productivity," Papers 369, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & James L. Powell, 1984. "The Cyclical Behavior of Industrial Labor Markets: A Comparison of the Pre-War and Post-War Eras," NBER Working Papers 1376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Saint-Paul, G., 1992. "Productivity growth and the Structure of the Business Cycle," DELTA Working Papers 92-16, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  4. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  5. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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