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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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    1. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "Labour Contracts and Efficiency in On-the-Job Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 408-19, March.
    2. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2002. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: On the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," CESifo Working Paper Series 776, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. James M. Malcomson & James W. Maw & Barry McCormick, 2002. "General Training by Firms, Apprentice Contracts, and Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 696, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Canice Prendergast, 1993. "The Role of Promotion in Inducing Specific Human Capital Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 523-534.
    10. 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.
    11. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
    12. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
    13. 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.
    14. Acemoglu, D. & Pischki, J.S., 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," Working papers 96-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    15. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
    16. 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.
    17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
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