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Effects of continuous off-the-job training in East Germany after unification

  • Lechner, Michael

Retraining the labor force to match the demands of a modern economy is an important task during the transition process from a centrally planned to a market economy. This need is particular pressing in East Germany, because the transition process is much faster there than in the rest of Eastern Europe. Therefore, substantial resources are devoted to this purpose. This paper analyses the impact of continuous off-the-job training in East Germany from the point of view of the individuals who were in the labor force before German unification in 1990. It answers questions about the average gains from participating in a specific type of training. Typical outcomes considered to measure these gains are income, employment status, job security and expected career prospects. The methodology used for the empirical evaluation is the potential outcome approach to causality. This approach has received considerable attention in the statistical literature over the last 15 years and it has been recently rediscovered by the econometric literature as well. Here, it is adapted to allow for important permanent and transitory shocks that influence the decision to participate in the training as well as future labor market outcomes. The empirical results are based on the first five waves of the Socio-Economic Pariel (GSOEP)-East (1990-1994). This panel data set has the advantage that the fourth wave contains a special survey on continuous training and that it allows to keep track of individual behaviour on a monthly, respectively yearly, basis. The econometric analysis focuses on off-the-job training courses that began after unification. Although it is obviously too early to evaluate the long-run implications, the results suggest that at least in the short-run there are no positive effects.

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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 95-27.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9527
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  1. James J. Heckman, 1989. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods for Estimating the Impact of Social Programs: The Case of Manpower Training," NBER Working Papers 2861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dagenais, Marcel G & Dufour, Jean-Marie, 1991. "Invariance, Nonlinear Models, and Asymptotic Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1601-15, November.
  3. Orme, Christopher, 1988. "The Calculation of the Information Matrix Test for Binary Data Models," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 56(4), pages 370-76, December.
  4. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-60, November.
  5. O'Higgins, Niall, 1994. "YTS, Employment, and Sample Selection Bias," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 605-28, October.
  6. Orme, Chris, 1990. "The small-sample performance of the information-matrix test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 309-331, December.
  7. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Prey, Hedwig, 1995. "Assessing the impact of training on employment: The case of East Germany," Discussion Papers 23, University of Konstanz, Center for International Labor Economics (CILE).
  8. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1982. "Convenient Specification Tests for Logit and Probit Models," Working Papers 514, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Gabler, Siegfried & Laisney, Francois & Lechner, Michael, 1993. "Seminonparametric Estimation of Binary-Choice Models with an Application to Labor-Force Participation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(1), pages 61-80, January.
  10. David Card & Daniel Sullivan, 1987. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements In andOut of Employment," NBER Working Papers 2173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bera, Anil K & Jarque, Carlos M & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1984. "Testing the Normality Assumption in Limited Dependent Variable Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(3), pages 563-78, October.
  12. Blundell, Richard & Laisney, Francois & Lechner, Michael, 1993. "Alternative Interpretations of Hours Information in an Econometric Model of Labour Supply," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 393-415.
  13. Gary Burtless & Larry L. Orr, 1986. "Are Classical Experiments Needed for Manpower Policy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 606-639.
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