Occupation-Specific Human Capital and Local Labour Markets

Posted: 29 Feb 2008


Most skills acquired through on-the-job training may be specific to an occupation and therefore transferable to some but not all firms. This paper explores the relationship between the size of the local market for an occupation-specific skill and job-training outcomes. The Stevens (1994) model of training predicts that as market size increases, job turnover increases and training becomes more general. I test these predictions using data on blue-collar workers and variation in market size across US metropolitan areas. The empirical results support the theoretical predictions and the impacts are most relevant at low levels of market size.

Suggested Citation

Groen, Jeffrey A., Occupation-Specific Human Capital and Local Labour Markets. Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 58, Issue 4, pp. 722-741, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1097941 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oep/gpl017

Jeffrey A. Groen (Contact Author)

Bureau of Labor Statistics ( email )

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212
United States

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