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Why Do Firms Train Apprentices? The Net Cost Puzzle Reconsidered

  • Mohrenweiser, Jens
  • Zwick, Thomas

This paper investigates the short-term costs and benefits of apprenticeship training in Germany. It calls into question the popular stylised fact that apprenticeship training always leads to net costs during the apprenticeship period. We analyse the impact of the proportion of different occupational groups of apprentices on firm performance. We use representative matched employer?employee panel data that allow us to correct for different sources of estimation bias. We show that the proportion of apprentices in trade, commercial, craft and construction occupations has a direct positive impact on firm performance: the companies cover their training costs immediately. In contrast, companies with apprentices in the manufacturing occupations face net training costs during the apprenticeship period but gain by the long-term employment of its graduate apprentices.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-019.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7228
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