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Firm Provision of General Training and Specific Human Capital Acquisition

  • Pablo Casas-Arce
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    The existing literature on training is concerned with understanding the reasons why firms pay for the general skills of their workers, but without explaining which firms train which workers. This paper develops a theory that both explains the willingness of firms to pay for general training, and accounts for the pattern of training provision empirically observed. It is assumed that labor markets are perfectly competitive, but there is imperfect contractibility of human capital. Under these assumptions, when training and specific human capital are complements, the firm would pay for the former in order to induce the acquisition of complementary specific skills by the worker.

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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper198.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 198.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:198
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    Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448, November.
    4. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
    5. Malcomson, James M. & Maw, James W. & McCormick, Barry, 2000. "General training by firms, apprentice contracts, and public policy," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0021, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    7. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Joern-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," Working papers 98-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    9. 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.
    10. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "Labour Contracts and Efficiency in On-the-Job Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 408-19, March.
    11. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the incidence of employer-provided training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
    12. 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.
    13. Parent, Daniel, 1999. "Wages and Mobility: The Impact of Employer-Provided Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 298-317, April.
    14. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
    15. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
    16. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
    17. Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "The Role of Promotion in Inducing Specific Human Capital Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 523-34, May.
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