Is the German Apprenticeship System a Panacea for the Us Labour Market?

36 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2001

See all articles by Dietmar Harhoff

Dietmar Harhoff

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 1996

Abstract

Advocates of apprenticeship programmes often argue as if it is simply a matter of historical accident that such investment by US firms has been hindered. This paper explores the structure of incentives underpinning the German system of apprenticeship training. First, we describe three characteristics of the German labour market that might lead firms to accept part of the cost of general training, even in the face of worker turnover. In the second part of the paper, we compare labour market outcomes for apprentices in Germany and high school graduates in the United States. Apprentices in Germany occupy a similar station within the German wage structure as that held by high school graduates in the US labour market. Finally, we provide evidence that the problem of forming labour market bonds is particularly acute for minority groups - in Germany as well as in the United States. We discuss some implications for the vocational training debate in the United States.

Keywords: Apprenticeship training, employment, human capital, labour market

JEL Classification: J24, J31, O51, O52, P52

Suggested Citation

Harhoff, Dietmar and Kane, Thomas J., Is the German Apprenticeship System a Panacea for the Us Labour Market? (January 1996). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 1311. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=291066

Dietmar Harhoff (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany
+49 89 24246 550 (Phone)
+49 89 24246 599 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München ( email )

Munich, 80539
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research ( email )

Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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