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Learning, Mobility and Wage Dynamics: Theory and Evidence

Schönberg, Uta; (2004) Learning, Mobility and Wage Dynamics: Theory and Evidence. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

There are (at least) three benchmark models, or 'building blocks', for explaining labour market outcomes: human capital models, search and matching models, and learning models. The objective of this thesis is to assess the empirical importance of those models. Chapter 2 focuses on learning models. The question addressed in this chapter is: Is employer learning symmetric or asymmetric? A model that nests both learning hypotheses is developed. Tests that allow to discriminate between the two hypotheses are proposed. Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth indicates that asymmetric learning plays an important role for university graduates, but not for high school graduates and dropouts. Chapter 3 focuses on human capital models. It revisits the question why firms pay for general training within the German apprenticeship system. The focus is on the impact of wage rigidities caused by unions on training. A model of firm-sponsored training and unions is developed, and empirical implications are derived. The empirical evidence suggests that wage floors created by unions are an important reason for firm-financed training in Germany. However, asymmetric employer learning cannot be ruled out as an additional reason for firm-financed training. Chapter 4 focuses on search and matching models. It compares job mobility of young men in two countries with very different labour market institutions, the United States and Germany. Match-specific productivity plays an important role in both countries for all education groups. The proportion of the variance of the unexplained component of wages that can be attributed to match quality is considerably higher in Germany than in the US. In Germany, there is evidence that job search and match-specific productivity matters more for unskilled workers than for apprentices.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Learning, Mobility and Wage Dynamics: Theory and Evidence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Labor market
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102196
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