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Measuring the Specificity of Human Capital: a Skill-based Approach

  • Kristjan-Olari Leping

    ()

    (University of Tartu P‰rnu College)

In this article a skill-based measure for human capital specificity will be constructed. This measure is based on the possibilities of making use of skills on labour market and it depends on the number of jobs where the particular skill is required. It is assumed that the specificity of human capital depends on the specificity of skills. In order to calculate the levels of specificity of different skills empirically, the data from the skill requirements of vacant jobs are used. The validity of this measure is tested by using it as an estimator of the probability that on-the-job training is offered to employees. The differences in the specificity of required human capital between different industries and occupations are also investigated in this paper. The proposed job specificity measure can be used for planning the public sector support to on-the-job training as the companiesí decisions to pay for training depend on the specificity of required human capital.

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Paper provided by Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology in its series Working Papers with number 134.

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Length: 17
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Working Papers in Economics, School of Economics and Business Administration,Tallinn University of Technology (TUTWPE), Volume 17, Pages 21-37
Handle: RePEc:ttu:wpaper:134
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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 1833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
  4. Björn Frank, 2003. "Location Decisions in a Changing Labour Market Environment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 380, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  6. Ingram, Beth & Neumann, George, 1999. "An Analysis of the Evolution of the Skill Premium," Working Papers 99-08, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
  8. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Johannes Mure, 2005. "The Skill-Weights Approach on Firm Specific Human Capital: Empirical Results for Germany," Working Papers 0056, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Apr 2005.
  9. 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 1147-58, December.
  10. Topel, Robert H, 1994. "Regional Labor Markets and the Determinants of Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 17-22, May.
  11. Maxim Poletaev & Chris Robinson, 2003. "Human Capital and Skill Specificity," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20036, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  12. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
  14. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
  15. Parent, Daniel, 2000. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 306-23, April.
  16. Lazear, Edward, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 813, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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