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Technological change and skill obsolescence: the case of German apprenticeship training

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  • Blechinger, Doris
  • Pfeiffer, Friedhelm

Abstract

The paper analyses the applicability of vocational training and the earnings of apprentices using survey data from West Germany in 1979, 1985/86 and 1991/92. The applicability has decreased remarkably between 1979 and 1991/92. The objective of the analysis is a survey-data-based assessment of the German apprenticeship system in a time of rapid technological change. The data sets used are the three available cross-sections of Qualification and Career Surveys commissioned by the Federal Institute for Vocational Training and the Research Institute of the Federal Labour Office. For each cross-section we estimate an ordered probit model testing demand (including technological progress) and supply-side factors affecting the applicability of what workers have learned during apprenticeship. Furthermore, we estimate earnings functions with the same specification, testing whether firm-specific and socio-economic factors have the same relevance for applicability and earnings. The results indicate that on-the-job investment in human capital has become more important relative to vocational training. Measures for improving the German dual vocational training system are suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Blechinger, Doris & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 1996. "Technological change and skill obsolescence: the case of German apprenticeship training," ZEW Discussion Papers 96-15, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9615
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/29394/1/257728023.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. R. Shackleton & Linda Clarke & Thomas Lange & Siobhan Walsh, 1995. "Training For Employment In Western Europe And The United States," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 404.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pohlmeier, Winfried & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Maier, Michael, 2004. "Returns to Education and Individual Heterogeneity," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-34, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Friedhelm PFEIFFER & Winfried POHLMEIER, 2011. "Causal Returns to Schooling and Individual Heterogeneity," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 8, pages 29-41, December.
    3. François Stankiewicz, 2004. "Travail, progrès technique et valorité différentielle le problème de la sélection des travailleurs," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 114(1), pages 111-131.
    4. repec:iab:iabmit:v:31:i:3:p:426-437 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ludwig, Volker & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2005. "Abschreibungsraten allgemeiner und beruflicher Ausbildungsinhalte," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-36, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Ludwig Volker & Pfeiffer Friedhelm, 2006. "Abschreibungsraten allgemeiner und beruflicher Ausbildungsinhalte - empirische Evidenz auf Basis subjektiver Einschätzungen / Depreciation Rates of General and Vocational Training Capital - Evidence B," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 226(3), pages 260-284, June.
    7. Buchel, Felix & van Ham, Maarten, 2003. "Overeducation, regional labor markets, and spatial flexibility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 482-493, May.
    8. Steiner, Viktor & Wagner, Kersten, 1996. "Has earnings inequality in Germany changed in the 1980's?," ZEW Discussion Papers 96-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reize, Frank, 2000. "Formelle und informelle berufliche Weiterbildung und Verdienst bei Arbeitnehmern und Selbständigen," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Gerlach, Knut & Jirjahn, Uwe, 1998. "Technischer Fortschritt, Arbeitsorganisation und Qualifikation : eine empirische Analyse für das Verarbeitende Gewerbe Niedersachsens (Technological progress, organisation of labour, and qualification," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 31(3), pages 426-437.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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