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Employment polarization and the role of the apprenticeship system

  • Michelle Rendall
  • Franziska J. Weiss

This paper studies the effects of the apprenticeship system on innovation and labor market polarization. A stylized model with two key features is developed: (1) apprentices are more productive due to industry-specific training, but (2) from the firm’s perspective, when training apprentices, technological innovation is costly since training becomes obsolete. Thus, apprentices correlate with slower adoption of skillreplacing technologies, but also less employment polarization. We test this hypothesis on German regions given local variation in apprenticeship systems until 1976. The results shows no employment polarization related to apprentices, but similar displacement of non-apprentices as in the US.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 141.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:141
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  15. Bart van Ark & Robert Inklaar & Robert H. McGuckin, 2003. "The Contribution of ICT-Producing and ICT-Using Industries to Productivity Growth: A Comparison of Canada, Europe and the United States," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 6, pages 56-63, Spring.
  16. Antonczyk, Dirk & DeLeire, Thomas C. & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2010. "Polarization and Rising Wage Inequality: Comparing the U.S. and Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4842, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  18. Dietmar Harhoff & Thomas J. Kane, 1993. "Financing Apprenticeship Training: Evidence from Germany," NBER Working Papers 4557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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