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The relation between formal education and skill acquisition in young workers first job

Dieter Verhaest () and Eddy Omey ()

No 2009/07, Working Papers from Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management

Abstract: We analyse the relation between formal education and skill acquisition (SA) on-the-job for a sample of Flemish school leavers. SA is measured both indirectly through training participation and directly through subjective assessments. Formal education is found to reinforce labour market inequality since additional years of education enhance the probability on all types of SA. This impact is, with respect to general SA, higher for generally than for vocationally educated individuals. Particularly between-occupation effects of education explain these outcomes: jobs that require more years of formal education typically also require more additional training and skill acquisition. Within occupations, we find some limited evidence on both dominant complementary and substitution effects. Undereducated workers have lower overall training and SA probabilities than adequately educated workers in similar occupations; overeducated workers acquire less transferable or general skills than their adequately educated colleagues. Since overeducated workers work in jobs with less additional SA requirements, they also acquire less additional skills than adequately educated workers with a similar educational background.

Keywords: training; human capital; vocationalism; overeducation; underemployment; school leavers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2009-03
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