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Worker Reciprocity and Employer Investment in Training

Listed author(s):
  • Edwin Leuven

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Hessel Oosterbeek

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Randolph Sloof

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Chris van Klaveren

    (University of Amsterdam)

Standard economic theory predicts that firms will not invest in general training and will underinvest in specific training. Empirical evidence, however, indicates that firms do invest in general training of their workers. Evidence from laboratory experiments points to less underinvestment in specific training than theory predicts. We propose a simple model in which a firm invests the socially optimal amounts in general and specific training if the worker is sufficiently motivated by reciprocity. A reciprocal worker may be willing to give the firm a full return on its investment. We present empirical evidence that supports the proposed mechanism. Workers with a high sensitivity to reciprocity have 15% higher training rates than workers with a low sensitivity to reciprocity. See publication in Economica , 2005, 72(285), 137-149.

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Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 02-090/3.

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Date of creation: 23 Sep 2002
Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20020090
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
  3. 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.
  4. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2001. "Continuous training in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 523-548.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
  6. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1990. "Shared investment in general training : the role of information," Policy Research Working Paper Series 535, The World Bank.
  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. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1992. "On the Social Optimality of Liquidated Damage Clauses: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 280-305, April.
  9. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:303-330 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
  11. Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-444, October.
  12. Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2002. "Who Pays for General Training? New Evidence for British Men and Women," IZA Discussion Papers 486, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-562, October.
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