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The Impact of Training on Labour Mobility


  • Alan Felstead
  • Francis Green


  • Ken Mayhew
  • Alan Pack



The paper investigates the impact of different types of training on the mobility expectations of workers, using two new data sets, one of individuals the other of firms. The innovation is that the data incorporate measures of the degree of transferability of training, improved information on the sources of sponsorship, and judgements about the aims and outcomes of training. We find that most training episodes produce some transferable skills and that most transferable training is paid for by employers. Overall, training appears to have little impact on mobility. It has no impact on mobility in 3 out every 5 cases; the remaining cases are split equally between those where training increases and those where it decreases mobility. We estimate the determinants of mobility outcomes using an ordered probit analysis. Consistent with theory, we find that training is more likely to lead to lower mobility when it is less transferable to other firms, sponsored by firms, and where it has objectives and outcomes aimed at increasing the identification of employees with corporate objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Felstead & Francis Green & Ken Mayhew & Alan Pack, 1999. "The Impact of Training on Labour Mobility," Studies in Economics 9910, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:9910

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Machin & Kjell G. Salvanes & Panu Pelkonen, 2012. "Education And Mobility," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 417-450, April.
    2. Francis Green & Scott M. Montgomery, 1998. "The Quality of Skill Acquisition in Young Workers' First Job," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 12(3), pages 473-487, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth, 1998. "Training and Labour Market Flexibility: Is There a Trade-off?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 521-536, December.
    5. Campbell, Carl M, III, 1993. "Do Firms Pay Efficiency Wages? Evidence with Data at the Firm Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 442-470, July.
    6. Elias, Peter, 1994. "Job-Related Training, Trade Union Membership, and Labour Mobility: A Longitudinal Study," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 563-578, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Booth, Alison L & Satchell, Stephen E, 1994. "Apprenticeships and Job Tenure," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 676-695, October.
    9. Lynch, Lisa M, 1991. "The Role of Off-the-Job vs. On-the-Job Training for the Mobility of Women Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 151-156, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Dietz & Thomas Zwick, 2016. "The retention effect of training – portability, visibility, and credibility," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0113, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    2. Green, Francis, 2000. "The Impact of Company Human Resource Policies on Social Skills: Implications for Training Sponsorship, Quit Rates and Efficiency Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(3), pages 251-272, August.
    3. Mark C. Berger & John S. Earle & Klara Sabirianova, 2001. "Worker Training in a Restructuring Economy: Evidence from the Russian Transition," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Soloman W. Polachek (ed.), Worker Wellbeing in a Changing Labor Market, pages 159-189 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

    More about this item


    training; labour mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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