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Sector-Specific on-the-Job Training: Evidence from U.S. Data.

  • Economics


Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), we re-examine the effect of formal on-the-job training on mobility patterns of young American workers. By employing parametric duration models, we evaluate the economic impact of training on productive time with an employer. Confirming previous studies, we find a positive and statistically significant impact of formal on-the-job training on tenure with the employer providing the training. However, the expected net duration of the time spent in the training program is generally not significantly increased. We proceed to document and analyze intra-sectoral and cross-sectoral mobility patterns in order to infer whether training provides firm-specific, industry-specific, or general human capital. The econometric analysis rejects a sequential model of job separation in favor of a competing risks specification. We find significant evidence for the industry-specificity of training. The probability of sectoral mobility upon job separation decreases with training received in the current industry, whether with the last employer or previous employers, and employment attachment increases with on-the-job training. These results are robust to a number of variations on the base model.

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