Local Norms Describing the Role of the State and the Private Provision of Training

64 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Andreas Kuhn

Andreas Kuhn

Swiss Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Research

Juerg Schweri

Swiss Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Research

Stefan C. Wolter

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF); University of Bern - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Apprenticeship systems are essentially based on the voluntary participation of firms that provide (and usually also finance) training positions, often incurring considerable net training costs. One potential, yet under-researched explanation for this behavior is that firms act in accordance with the norms and expectations they face with in the local labor market in which they operate. In this paper, we focus on the Swiss apprenticeship system and ask whether local norms towards the private, rather than the public, provision of training influence firms' decisions to offer apprenticeship positions.In line with this hypothesis, we find that the training incidence is higher in communities characterized by a stronger norm towards the private provision of training, which we measure using local results from two national-level plebiscites that explicitly dealt with the role of the state in the context of the apprenticeship system. This finding turns out to be robust to a series of alternative specifications and robustness checks, as well as to an instrumental-variable strategy that tackles the issue of potential endogeneity of normative attitudes.

Keywords: public goods, private provision of training, social norms, normative attitudes towards the role of the state, vocational education and training, apprenticeship training

JEL Classification: D22, D63, H41, I22, J24

Suggested Citation

Kuhn, Andreas and Schweri, Jürg and Wolter, Stefan C., Local Norms Describing the Role of the State and the Private Provision of Training (February 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12159. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390146

Andreas Kuhn (Contact Author)

Swiss Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Research ( email )

Kirchlindachstrasse 79
Zollikofen, 3052
Switzerland

Jürg Schweri

Swiss Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Research ( email )

Kirchlindachstrasse 79
Zollikofen, 3052
Switzerland

Stefan C. Wolter

Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SKBF) ( email )

CH - 5000 Aarau
Switzerland
+41 62 835 23 90 (Phone)
+41 62 835 23 99 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.skbf-csre.ch

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

Gesellschaftstrasse 49
Bern, CH-3012
Switzerland
+41 31 631 40 95 (Phone)
+41 31 631 39 92 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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