Employment Polarization and the Role of the Apprenticeship System

49 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2014

See all articles by Michelle Rendall

Michelle Rendall

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Franziska Weiss

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

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Date Written: February 18, 2014

Abstract

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 skill-replacing 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.

Keywords: Apprentices, educational system, employment polarization, technology adoption

JEL Classification: E24, I24, J24, J62, O33

Suggested Citation

Rendall, Michelle and Weiss, Franziska, Employment Polarization and the Role of the Apprenticeship System (February 18, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2398366 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2398366

Michelle Rendall (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zürich
Switzerland

Franziska Weiss

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

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