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Adult learning and the business cycle

Giorgio Di Pietro, Zbigniew Karpinski () and Federico Biagi ()
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Zbigniew Karpinski: European Commission - JRC,
Federico Biagi: European Commission - JRC,

No JRC123218, JRC Working Papers from Joint Research Centre (Seville site)

Abstract: This report looks at the impact of the business cycle on participation in adult learning in the EU-27 using aggregate quarterly country level data for the period 2005Q1 – 2019Q4. Data come from the EU Labour Force Survey. Although downturns may give individuals more incentives and more time to update their skills and knowledge, their ability to pay for such investment as well as employers’ willingness to train workforce are both likely to fall during recessions. Which of these effects prevails is an empirical open question. In an attempt to investigate this issue, the analysis presented here: i) documents a large cross country variability in the levels of total adult learning (participation rate in total adult learning is greater in Nordic countries compared to the other EU countries); ii) shows that, in the EU as a whole, the share of individuals involved in non-formal adult learning tends to correlate positively with the employment rate (i.e. non-formal adult learning is procyclical); iii) points out that the procyclicality of the relationship between total adult learning and the business cycle is more pronounced in Eastern and Western countries as compared to Nordic and Southern countries.

Keywords: Adult learning; Business cycle (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur
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