Conference Agenda

Session Overview
Paper Session 1C: Economics of VET
Wednesday, 15/Mar/2017:
10:15am - 11:45am

Location: 117 (SFIVET)
Kirchlindachstrasse 79
CH-3052 Zollikofen


Public Attitudes Towards the Role of the State and the Private Provision of Training: Evidence from the Swiss Apprenticeship System

Andreas KUHN1,2,4, Jürg SCHWERI1,2, Stefan C. WOLTER2,3,4

1Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Switzerland; 2University of Bern; 3Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education; 4IZA

Existing research shows that a large fraction of Swiss training firms is willing to incur considerable net training costs. One potential explanation for such behavior is that firms act in accordance with the norms and expectations they are faced with in the local labor market they are operating in. In the research described in this paper we ask whether the norm towards the private, rather than the public, provision of public goods influences the probability that a firm is willing to offer apprenticeship positions. In line with our hypothesis, we find that the training incidence is higher in communities which are characterized by a stronger norm towards the private, rather than the public, provision of public goods, which we measure using local results from several national-level votes which explicitly dealt with the proper role of the state in the context of the apprenticeship system.

Wage effects of apprenticeship training: A mover-stayer differential in crafts occupations

Katarzyna HAVERKAMP, Johannes LOH

Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen, Germany

This paper assesses the external market value of skills generated in apprenticeship training in crafts occupations by comparing the wage position of vocational graduates leaving craft companies (movers) with the wage position of those staying within the sector (stayers). Availing of a large dataset of German Employment Surveys, the paper employs an IV method and accounts for the nonrandom initial sorting into training occupations and for selectivity in job mobility. We find a wage mark-up of 2% for movers from craft occupations within an OLS-setting and no significant mover-stayer-differential when accounting for non-random mobility patterns. We conclude that skills built up in craft apprenticeships are not sector-specific and transferable to different work contexts.

Does vocational education give a happy start and a lousy end to careers? Employment and earnings over the life course in Switzerland

Maïlys KORBER, Daniel Oesch

Lausanne University, Switzerland

After the Great Recession, vocational training has been advocated as the solution against high youth unemployment. It gives workers a head start in the labor market and may thus lead to better careers. Yet vocational skills may also become obsolete sooner and leave older workers vulnerable to technological change. We address this issue by comparing earnings and employment over the life course for vocational and general education at the upper-secondary level. We do so for Switzerland, the OECD country with the highest share of youth attending VET, using the Swiss Labor Force Survey 1991-2014. We find that employment prospects for older workers with VET are as good as those for workers with general education. However, general education is associated with higher earnings than VET once workers enter their thirties. There are strong gender differences. Among men, life-cycle earnings with VET exceed those of workers with general education, whereas among women, general education is associated with higher earnings.