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The Impact of ICT Usage, Workplace Organisation and Human Capital on the Provision of Apprenticeship Training: A firm-level analysis based on Swiss panel data

Listed author(s):
  • Heinz Hollenstein
  • Tobias Stucki

Firstly, we investigated the determinants of a) the propensity of Swiss firms to provide apprenticeship training, and b) the intensity of training (measured by the employment share of apprentices). We primarily were interested in the relevance as explanatory factors of the three constituent elements of the “new firm paradigm†that emerged in the course of the last twenty years: intensive usage of ICT; redesign of workplace organisation; shift from lower to higher skills. We found that the skill composition of the workforce (including further training), ICT intensity and, to a lesser extent, workplace organisation are important drivers of apprenticeship-based skill formation, with stronger effects on training propensity than on training intensity. Secondly, we analysed the relationship between apprenticeship training and firm performance. It turned out that productivity and apprenticeships (training propensity or intensity) are negatively correlated. The study is relevant for training policy in advanced economies where the new firm paradigm plays a large and growing role.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-005666791
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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 08-205.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:08-205
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  1. Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2006. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: on the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 903-923, October.
  2. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2006. "Distinguishing Companies with Different Apprenticeship Training Motivations – Evidence from German Establishment Data," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0007, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  3. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.
  4. 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.
  5. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  6. Caroli, Eve & Greenan, Nathalie & Guellec, Dominique, 2001. "Organizational Change and Skill Accumulation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 481-506, June.
  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. 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.
  9. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  10. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
  11. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  12. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Thomas J. Kane & Dietmar Harhoff, 1997. "Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the U.S. labor market?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 171-196.
  15. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10054 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. David Finegold & Karin Wagner, 2002. "Are Apprenticeships Still Relevant in the 21st Century? A Case Study of Changing Youth Training Arrangements in German Banks," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 667-685, July.
  17. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "A Product-Market Theory of Industry-Specific Training," SOI - Working Papers 0610, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  18. Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2008. "Training Propensity of Start-ups in Switzerland - A Study Based on Data for the Start-up Cohort 1996-97," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0035, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  19. Hilary Steedman, 2005. "Apprenticeship in Europe: 'Fading' or Flourishing?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0710, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  20. Bocquet, Rachel & Brossard, Olivier, 2007. "The variety of ICT adopters in the intra-firm diffusion process: Theoretical arguments and empirical evidence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 409-437, December.
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