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Why Do Employers Pay For College?

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  • Peter Cappelli

Abstract

Employers routinely provide financial support for their employees who pursue post-secondary education despite the fact that it represents perhaps the classic example of a general skill' that costs the employer money and raises the market wages of employees who possess it. The analysis below examines why employers provide such support, and the results suggest that employees do not pay for tuition assistance through below market or training wages, the typical arrangement for funding general skills training. Instead, tuition assistance appears to select better quality employees who stay on the job longer, at least in part to keep making use of that benefit.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Cappelli, 2002. "Why Do Employers Pay For College?," NBER Working Papers 9225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    3. 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.
    4. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    5. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1999. "Do Workers Pay for On-The-Job Training?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 235-252.
    6. Bowlus, Audra J, 1995. "Matching Workers and Jobs: Cyclical Fluctuations in Match Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 335-350, April.
    7. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1990. "Investment in General Training: The Role of Information and Labour Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1147-1158, December.
    8. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    9. David Neumark & Peter Cappelli, 1999. "Do "High Performance" Work Practices Improve Establishment-Level Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 7374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Peter Cappelli & David Neumark, 2001. "External Job Churning and Internal Job Flexibility," NBER Working Papers 8111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, November.
    12. Magee, L. & Robb, A. L. & Burbidge, J. B., 1998. "On the use of sampling weights when estimating regression models with survey data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 251-271, June.
    13. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "An Investment Model for the Supply of Training by Employers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 556-570, May.
    14. Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-330, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhaskar, V & Holden, Steinar, 2002. "Wage Differentiation via Subsidised General Training," Economics Discussion Papers 8851, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Boom, Anette, 2005. "Firms' investments in general training and the skilled labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 781-805, December.
    3. Sylvain, Serginio, 2014. "Does Human Capital Risk Explain The Value Premium Puzzle?," MPRA Paper 54551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lazear, Edward, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 813, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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