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A Product-Market Theory of Industry-Specific Training

Author

Listed:
  • Hans Gersbach

    () (CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research, ETH Zurich)

  • Armin Schmutzler

    () (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Abstract

We develop a product market theory that explains why firms provide their workers with skills that are sufficiently general to be potentially useful for competitors. We consider a model where firms first decide whether to invest in industry-specific human capital, then make wage offers for each others� trained employees and finally engage in imperfect product market competition. Equilibria with and without training, and multiple equilibria can emerge. If competition is sufficiently soft and returns to the number of trained workers decrease sufficiently, firms may invest in non-specific training if others do the same, because they would otherwise suffer a competitive disadvantage or need to pay high wages in order to attract trained workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "A Product-Market Theory of Industry-Specific Training," SOI - Working Papers 0610, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0610
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_soi/wp0610.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Schmutzler, Armin, 2009. "Merger negotiations and ex-post regret," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1636-1664, July.
    2. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2011. "Foreign direct investment and R&D-offshoring," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 134-157, January.
    3. Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2005. "A Structural Model of Demand for Apprentices," CESifo Working Paper Series 1417, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Lalive, Rafael & Schmutzler, Armin, 2005. "Competition for Railway Markets: The Case of Baden-Württemberg," CEPR Discussion Papers 5396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Halbheer, Daniel, 2009. "Are there waves in merger activity after all?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 708-718, November.
    6. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2006. "The Effect of Income on Positive and Negative Subjective Well-Being," SOI - Working Papers 0605, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    7. Alejandra Cattaneo & Sandra Hanslin & Rainer Winkelmann, 2007. "The Apple Falls Increasingly Far: Parent-Child Correlation in Schooling and the Growth of Post-Secondary Education in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(II), pages 133-153, June.
    8. Mahler, Philippe & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Single Motherhood and (Un)Equal Educational Opportunities: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Boes, Stefan & Lipp, Markus & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2007. "Money illusion under test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 332-337, March.
    10. Yves Schneider & Peter Zweifel, 2005. "Spatial Effects in Willingness-to-Pay: The Case of Two Nuclear Risks," SOI - Working Papers 0502, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Sep 2007.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ilja Neustadt & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Economic Well-Being, Social Mobility, and Preferences for Income Redistribution: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0909, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2010.
    2. Donja Darai & Dario Sacco & Armin Schmutzler, 2010. "Competition and innovation: an experimental investigation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(4), pages 439-460, December.
    3. Spyros Arvanitis & Tobias Stucki, 2008. "Training Propensity of Start-ups in Switzerland - A Study Based on Data for the Start-up Cohort 1996-97," KOF Working papers 08-199, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    4. Dennis L. Gärtner, 2010. "Monopolistic screening under learning by doing," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 574-597.
    5. Lalive, Rafael & Schmutzler, Armin, 2008. "Exploring the effects of competition for railway markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 443-458, March.
    6. Spyros Arvanitis, 2008. "Are Firm Innovativeness and Firm Age Relevant for the Supply of Vocational Training? - A Study Based on Swiss Micro Data," KOF Working papers 08-198, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    7. Stefan Boes, 2013. "Nonparametric analysis of treatment effects in ordered response models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 81-109, February.
    8. Johannes Schoder & Peter Zweifel, 2008. "Managed Care Konzepte und L�sungsans�tze� Ein internationaler Vergleich aus schweizerischer Sicht," SOI - Working Papers 0801, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    9. Helga Fehr-Duda & Adrian Bruhin & Thomas Epper & Renate Schubert, 2010. "Rationality on the rise: Why relative risk aversion increases with stake size," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 147-180, April.
    10. Picchio, Matteo & van Ours, Jan C., 2011. "Market imperfections and firm-sponsored training," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 712-722, October.
    11. Lukas Steinmann & Harry Telser & Peter Zweifel, 2005. "The Impact of Aging on Future Healthcare Expenditure," SOI - Working Papers 0510, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Dec 2006.
    12. Falkinger, Josef, 2008. "Between Agora and Shopping Mall," IZA Discussion Papers 3524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Halbheer, Daniel & Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz & Schmutzler, Armin, 2009. "Self-reinforcing market dominance," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 481-502, November.
    14. Spyros Arvanitis & Euripidis N. Loukis, 2009. "Employee education, information and communication technology, workplace organization and trade," KOF Working papers 09-234, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    15. Dennis Gaertner, 2007. "Why Bayes Rules: A Note on Bayesian vs. Classical Inference in Regime Switching Models," SOI - Working Papers 0719, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    16. Dario Sacco & Armin Schmutzler, 2008. "All-Pay Auctions with Negative Prize Externalities: Theory and Experimental Evidence," SOI - Working Papers 0806, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    17. Adrian Bruhin, 2008. "Stochastic Expected Utility and Prospect Theory in a Horse Race: A Finite Mixture Approach," SOI - Working Papers 0803, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    18. Katja Görlitz & Joel Stiebale, 2011. "The Impact of Product Market Competition on Employers’ Training Investments. Evidence from German Establishment Panel Data," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 1-23, March.
    19. Sandra Hanslin, 2008. "The effect of trade openness on optimal government size under endogenous firm entry," SOI - Working Papers 0802, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    20. Goerlitz, Katja, 2009. "The Development of Employers' Training Investments Over Time – A Decomposition Analysis Using German Establishment Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 87, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    21. Heinz Hollenstein & Tobias Stucki, 2008. "The Impact of ICT Usage, Workplace Organisation and Human Capital on the Provision of Apprenticeship Training: A firm-level analysis based on Swiss panel data," KOF Working papers 08-205, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    22. Heinz Hollenstein & Tobias Stucki, 2009. "Determinanten des Angebots an Lehrstellen – Der Einfluss von IKT, Organisation und Humankapital," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 3(1), pages 79-93, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    industry-specific training; human capital; oligopoly; turnover;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation

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