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Beyond the Incidence of Training

Sandra Black () and Lisa Lynch ()

CEP Discussion Papers from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: This paper seeks to provide new insight into employer-provided training investment and how they are linked to workplace practices, physical capital investments, and educational qualifications of workers. Using a new and unique nationally representing survey of establishments in the US, we go beyond measuring the incidence of training to also examine the content and extent of employer-provided training. We find that businesses that are large, have adopted some of the practices associated with high performance work systems such as the Total Quality Management (TQM) or benchmarking, are capital-intensive, or have a more educated workforce are more likely to provide formal training programs for their employees. Employers are also more likely to provide more "general" types of training programs in computing and basic education if they are large, part of a multi-establishment firm, have low employee turnover, and have adopted high performance work systems. Finally, employers who have made large investments in physical capital or have adapted new forms of work organisations are more likely to train a higher proportion of their workers, especially in the manufacturing sector. These results suggest that employer-provided training is a complement rather than a substitute to investment in physical capital and education.

Date: 1997-09
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