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Learning-By-Doing Vs. On-the-Job Training: Using Variation Induced by the EITC to Distinguish Between Models of Skill Formation

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  • James Heckman
  • Lance Lochner
  • Ricardo Cossa

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of wage subsidies on skill formulation. We analyze two prototypical models of skill formation: (a) a learning-by-doing model and (b) an on-the-job training model. We develop conditions on the pricing of jobs under which the two models are equivalent. In general they are different and have different implications of wage subsidies on skill formation. On-the-job training models predict that wage subsidies reduce skill formation. Learning-by-doing models predict the opposite. The provisional evidence favors the learning-by-doing model. We apply our estimates to investigate the impact of the EITC on skill formation. We estimate that the EITC reduced the long term wages of participants with low levels of education.

Suggested Citation

  • James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Ricardo Cossa, 2002. "Learning-By-Doing Vs. On-the-Job Training: Using Variation Induced by the EITC to Distinguish Between Models of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 9083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9083
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    1. Sumru Altuğ & Robert A. Miller, 1998. "The Effect of Work Experience on Female Wages and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 45-85.
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    6. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bovenberg, A.L., 2003. "Tax Policy and Labor Market Performance," Discussion Paper 2003-90, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Adda & Dustmann, 2004. "Career Progression and Formal versus on the Job Training," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 492, Econometric Society.
    3. Alessio Brown & Johannes Koettl, 2015. "Active labor market programs - employment gain or fiscal drain?," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, December.
    4. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2010. "Job Search, Bargaining, and Wage Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 595-631, July.
    5. Nada Eissa & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Behavioral Responses to Taxes: Lessons from the EITC and Labor Supply," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, pages 73-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Connolly, Helen & Gottschalk, Peter T., 2004. "Do Earnings Subsidies Affect Job Choice?," IZA Discussion Papers 1322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2000. "Occupational Mobility and Wage Inequality, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 15 Jun 2004.
    8. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
    9. Michael Lechner & Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, 2007. "Stochastic labour market shocks, labour market programmes, and human capital formation: a theoretical and empirical analysis," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-27, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    10. Aki Kangasharju, 2007. "Do Wage Subsidies Increase Employment in Subsidized Firms?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 51-67, February.
    11. Azmat, Ghazala Yasmeen, 2006. "The incidence of an earned income tax credit: evaluating the impact on wages in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19859, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Li, Gan & Jaeun, Shin & Qi, Li, 2010. "Initial Wage, Human Capital and Post Wage Differentials," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 51(2), pages 23-42, December.
    13. Gabriele Cardullo & Bruno Van der Linden, 2007. "Employment Subsidies and Substitutable Skills: An Equilibrium Matching Approach," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 375-404.
    14. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2006. "Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics inside Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 59-108, January.
    15. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Mobility and Wage Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 731-759.
    16. Costas Meghir, 2006. "Dynamic models for policy evaluation," IFS Working Papers W06/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    17. Tito Boeri, 2005. "An Activating Social Security System," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(4), pages 375-397, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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