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Why do low-educated workers invest less in further training?

Listed author(s):
  • Fouarge Didier
  • Schils Trudie
  • Grip Andries de

    (ROA rm)

Several studies document the fact that low-educated workers participate less often infurther training than high-educated workers. The economic literature suggests thatthere is no significant difference in employer willingness to train low-educated workers,which leaves the question of why the low educated invest less in training unanswered.This paper investigates two possible explanations: Low-educated workers invest less intraining because of 1) the lower economic returns to these investments or 2) their lowerwillingness to participate in training. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity that canaffect the probability of enrolling into training, we find that the economic returns totraining for low-educated workers are positive and not significantly different from thosefor high-educated workers. However, low-educated workers are significantly less willingto participate in training. This lesser willingness to participate in training is driven byeconomic preferences (future orientation, preference for leisure), as well as personalitytraits (locus of control, exam anxiety, and openness to experience).

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File URL: https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/portal/files/1517282/content
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) in its series ROA Research Memorandum with number 010.

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Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2010010
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  1. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2004. "Evaluating the Effect of Tax Deductions on Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 461-488, April.
  2. Sanders,Jos & Grip,Andries,de, 2003. "Training, Task Flexibility and Low-Skilled Workers' Employability," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  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. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  6. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
  7. Margo Coleman & Thomas DeLeire, 2003. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  8. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
  9. Andrea Bassanini & Wooseok Ok, 2004. "How do firms' and individuals' incentives to invest in human capital vary across groups?," CEPN Working Papers halshs-00194344, HAL.
  10. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  11. Harley Frazis & Mark A. Loewenstein, 2005. "Reexamining the Returns to Training: Functional Form, Magnitude, and Interpretation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  12. Heckman, James J., 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2875, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  14. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1989. "Job Matching and On-the-Job Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
  15. Santiago Budria & Pedro Telhado Pereira, 2007. "The wage effects of training in Portugal: differences across skill groups, genders, sectors and training types," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 787-807.
  16. van Smoorenburg, M. S. M. & van der Velden, R. K. W., 2000. "The training of school-leavers: Complementarity or substitution?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 207-217, April.
  17. Hill, Elizabeth T., 2001. "Post-school-age training among women: training methods and labor market outcomes at older ages," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 181-191, April.
  18. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Steedman, Hilary & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "Measuring Low Skills in Europe: How Useful Is the ISCED Framework?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 564-581, July.
  20. Kenn Ariga & Giorgio Brunello, 2006. "Are Education and Training Always Complements? Evidence from Thailand," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(4), pages 613-629, July.
  21. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  22. Mark R. Killingsworth, 1982. ""Learning by Doing" and "Investment in Training": A Synthesis of Two "Rival" Models of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 263-271.
  23. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2008. "An alternative approach to estimate the wage returns to private-sector training," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 423-434.
  24. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male and Female Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
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