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Reverse educational spillovers at the firm level

Uschi Backes-Gellner, Christian Rupietta and Simone Tuor Sartore

Evidence-based HRM: A Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, 2017, vol. 5, issue 1, 80-106

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine spillover effects across differently educated workers. For the first time, the authors consider “reverse” spillover effects, i.e. spillover effects from secondary-educated workers with dual vocational education and training (VET) to tertiary-educated workers with academic education. The authors argue that, due to structural differences in training methodology and content, secondary-educated workers with VET degrees have knowledge that tertiary academically educated workers do not have. Design/methodology/approach - The authors use data from a large employer-employee data set: the Swiss Earnings Structure Survey. The authors estimate ordinary least squares and fixed effects panel-data models to identify such “reverse” spillover effects. Moreover, the authors consider the endogenous workforce composition. Findings - The authors find that tertiary-educated workers have higher productivity when working together with secondary-educated workers with VET degrees. The instrumental variable estimations support this finding. The functional form of the reverse spillover effect is inverted- Research limitations/implications - The results imply that firms need to combine different types of workers because their different kinds of knowledge produce spillover effects and thereby lead to overall higher productivity. Originality/value - The traditional view of spillover effects assumes that tertiary-educated workers create spillover effects toward secondary-educated workers. However, the authors show that workers who differ in their type of education (academic vs vocational) may also create reverse spillover effects.

Keywords: Earnings; Education; Informational spillovers; I20; J24; J30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Reverse Educational Spillovers at the Firm Level (2011) Downloads
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