Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2003:8: Employer-sponsored training in stabilisation and growth policy perspectives

Christina HÃ¥kanson (), Satu Johanson and Erik Mellander ()
Additional contact information
Christina HÃ¥kanson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI), Postal: Box 5501, SE-114 85 Stockholm, Sweden
Satu Johanson: PricewaterhouseCoopers AB, Postal: Torsgatan 21, SE-113 97 Stockholm, Sweden
Erik Mellander: IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Postal: Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: In Europe, accounting standards prevent larger expenditures on employer-sponsored training from being treated as investments. Using Sweden as example, we discuss two consequences for training. First, the timing: training will be conducted when income is large enough for training costs to be deducted without loss. This is more often possible during booms than recessions, providing a stabilisation policy dimension to training. Second, the volume: the training opportunity cost (foregone production) is largest during booms. Hence, training tends to be smaller than if conducted during downturns, possibly limiting growth. We formulate two proposals that can make training more counter-cyclical and increase the amount of training.

Keywords: Employer-sponsored training; accounting standards

JEL-codes: D21; E32; H25; M41; M53

37 pages, April 14, 2003

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