Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
The long-term earnings consequences of general vs. specific training of the unemployed
() and Olle Westerlund
Abstract: Training programs for the unemployed typically involve
teaching a specific skill to ease the transition into employment. However,
in 1997, the Swedish unemployed could choose general/theoretical training
through enrollment in one year of full-time studies at the upper secondary
school level. This study provides an empirical assessment of the relative
earnings impact of general vs. specific training 13 years post-enrollment.
In the long term, general training may compensate for the short-term
relative earnings loss by enhancing the ability to adapt to changes in
demand for skills. The analyses are based on population register data
1990-2010 and an unusually rich set of control variables. The results
indicate that both programs are associated with earnings increases. Our
relative program estimates reveal a short-term advantage of specific
training that converges within 5-7 years. With a longer perspective, there
is considerable heterogeneity in the relative earnings estimates. For
females with short educations, the earnings increases following general
training substantially exceed those following specific training.
Keywords: Active labor market programs; adult education; vocational training; general training; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: I21; J62; J68; (follow links to similar papers)
43 pages, February 17, 2014
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