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The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover: A Case Study Analysis

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  • Colleen N. Flaherty

Abstract

Tuition reimbursement programs provide financial assistance for direct costs of education and are a type of general skills training program commonly offered by employers in the United States. Standard human capital theory argues that investment in firm-specific skills reduces turnover, while investment in general skills training could result in increased turnover. However, firms cite increased retention as a motivation for offering tuition reimbursement programs. This rationale for offering these programs challenges the predictions of the standard human capital model. This paper tests empirically whether participation in tuition reimbursement programs increases employee retention using data from a non-profit institution. To document the prevalence of tuition reimbursement programs, the case study analysis is supplemented with findings from the Survey of Employer-Provided Training, 1995 (SEPT95). This paper finds that participation in tuition reimbursement programs reduces employee turnover.

Suggested Citation

  • Colleen N. Flaherty, 2007. "The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover: A Case Study Analysis," NBER Working Papers 12975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12975 Note: ED LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 79-119.
    2. Alan Barrett & Philip J. O'Connell, 2001. "Does Training Generally Work? The Returns to in-Company Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 647-662, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Kenny, Lawrence W, et al, 1979. "Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(3), pages 775-789, October.
    5. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the Incidence of Employer-Provided Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
    6. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:403-438 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448.
    8. 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.
    9. Harley Frazis & Maury Gittleman & Mary Joyce, 2000. "Correlates of Training: An Analysis Using Both Employer and Employee Characteristics," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 443-462, April.
    10. Cappelli, Peter, 2004. "Why do employers pay for college?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 213-241.
    11. Mark A. Loewenstein & James R. Spletzer, 1999. "General and Specific Training: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 710-733.
    12. Feuer, M. & Glick, H. & Desai, A., 1987. "Is firm-sponsored education viable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 121-136, March.
    13. Garcia, Federico & Arkes, Jeremy & Trost, Robert, 2002. "Does employer-financed general training pay? Evidence from the US Navy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-27, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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