Informing Employees in Small and Medium Sized Firms About Training: Results of a Randomized Field Experiment

32 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018

See all articles by Gerard J. van den Berg

Gerard J. van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Christine Dauth

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Pia Homrighausen

Independent

Gesine Stephan

Institute for Employment Research (IAB); University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We analyze a German labor market program that subsidizes skill-upgrading occupational training for workers employed in small and medium sized enterprises. This WeGebAU program reimburses training costs but take-up has been low. In an experimental setup, we mailed 10,000 brochures to potentially eligible workers, informing them about the importance of skill-upgrading occupational training in general and about WeGebAU in particular. Using combined survey and register data, we analyze the impact of receiving the brochure on workers' awareness of the program, on take-up of WeGebAU and other training, and on job characteristics. The survey data reveal that the brochure more than doubled workers' awareness of the program. We do not find effects on WeGebAU program take-up or short-run labor market outcomes in the register data. However, the information treatment positively affected participation in other (unsubsidized) training among employees under 45 years.

Keywords: information treatment, wages, skills, employment, randomized controlled trial

JEL Classification: J24, J65

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, Gerard J. and Dauth, Christine and Homrighausen, Pia and Stephan, Gesine, Informing Employees in Small and Medium Sized Firms About Training: Results of a Randomized Field Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11963. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301717

Gerard J. Van den Berg (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6132 (Phone)
+32 20 444 6020 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Christine Dauth

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

Pia Homrighausen

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

Gesine Stephan

Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg ( email )

Lange Gasse 20
Nuremberg, 90403
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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