صدور گواهینامه آموزش و پیامدهای آموزش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|17782||2000||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Economic Review, Volume 44, Issues 4–6, May 2000, Pages 917–927
External certification of workplace skills obtained through on-the-job training is widespread in many countries. This may indicate that training is financed by workers, and certification serves to assure the quality of the training offered by the firm. However, other evidence shows that general training is financed by firms, especially in Germany. We show in this paper that external certification of training may also be necessary for an equilibrium with firm-sponsored training. Firm financing of training is only possible if firms have monopsony power over the workers after training. If the training firm can extract too much of the employment rents, however, workers may not have sufficient incentives to put forth effort during training. Certification increases the value training to the outside market, and hence to workers, making firm-sponsored training possible.
Standard theory of human capital as developed by Becker maintains that workers should pay for investments in general skills. It makes sense that such skills are often certified by independent bodies, especially when the skills are provided by firms at the workplace. However, various pieces of evidence suggest that in a variety of circumstances firms rather than workers pay for investments in general training (see, for example, Bishop, 1996; Acemoglu and Pischke, 1999a). Many economists have suggested that this may be because other employers do not observe whether an employee has received training with his current employer (Katz and Ziderman, 1990; Chang and Wang, 1996). According to this view, if training programs become more easily identifiable, for example due to external certification of skills, there may be less investment in training by firms. In discussing proposals for occupational certification in the U.S., Heckman et al. (1994), for example, raised this issue, and argued that increased certification would discourage training. In this light, Germany's training system is difficult to understand. Germany has an extensive apprenticeship system which most non-college-bound youths complete before becoming full-time workers. Many studies have documented that employers pay a significant part of the financial costs of these training programs (see for example the evidence presented in Acemoglu and Pischke, 1998). However, apprenticeships are highly regulated; apprentices take exams given by the chambers of commerce and crafts at the end of the training period, and receive certificates which play an important role in access to skilled jobs. The presence of certificates that make the amount and quality of the training received by a worker observable to potential employers suggests that it is not uncertainty about the quality of training that underlies firms’ incentives to invest in general skills in Germany. In Acemoglu and Pischke (1998), we developed an alternative theory of firm-sponsored training based on an asymmetry of information between current and potential employers regarding the ability of young workers. Valuable information about the abilities and aptitudes of young workers will be revealed during the early years of their career. Much of this information will be directly observed by the current employer, but not necessarily by other firms. This informational monopsony will induce firms to invest in the general skills of their employees. We argued that this theory accounts for the prevalence of the apprenticeship programs in Germany. Nevertheless, certification of training skills is puzzling for this theory as well. Why do firms operate within the regulated apprenticeship program, which they often criticize as rigid and outdated, rather than developing their own training programs without certification?1 In this paper, we attempt to answer this question. We discuss the role of certification of training in a labor market where some investment by the workers themselves, for example in the form of effort, is necessary during training for the successful accumulation of skills. We show that contrary to conventional wisdom, certification may actually be necessary to encourage firm-sponsored training. The institutions that certify apprenticeship skills therefore emerge as an integral part of the German training system, and their removal would not increase firm-sponsored training, but likely undermine the whole system.2 The underlying intuition for our results is simple. Firms invest in the training of their employees because they have sufficient monopsony power, which makes them, at least in part, the residual claimant for the returns to training. While labor market imperfections, and in particular asymmetric information, increase the monopsony power of firms and encourages firms to invest in training, they also reduce the workers’ incentives to invest in their skills, as most of the returns will be appropriated by the firm. If effort by the worker is necessary to complete the training, the labor market arrangements have to give sufficient incentives to workers to exert this effort. If firms could observe and monitor such effort, the problem would be solved. But like most effort activities, the diligence that workers exert in training programs is hard to monitor. Alternatively, if firms could commit to reward workers conditional on their effort, the right incentives could be given to workers. Since the effort choice of the worker is not observed, however, this is often not possible in equilibrium either. This means that asymmetric information in the labor market might undermine the existence of training programs by not giving enough incentives to workers. In this setting, certification arises as a method of ensuring that workers receive more of the return to their general training. Certification therefore helps to balance the power between workers and firms evenly, encouraging workers to exert effort. In fact, in our simple model, firm-sponsored training arises as an equilibrium with certification, but without certification training is never an equilibrium. We next outline the basic environment. In Section 3, we characterize the equilibrium in the absence of certification. We simplify the analysis in this section by assuming that firms cannot commit to future wages, and show that in the absence of certification, there will be no training in equilibrium. In Section 4 of the paper, we solve for the equilibrium with certification, and show that there now exists an equilibrium in which firms invest in the skills of their workers, and workers exert effort during the training period. In Section 5, we relax the assumption of no commitment to future wages, and show that even in the presence of such commitment, certification facilitates training. In Section 6, we discuss further extensions of our results.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We have kept the model above deliberately simple to clearly illustrate the main point of our analysis: external certification of training may be necessary to provide sufficient incentives for workers to contribute their part to training investments and ensure that firms invest in worker training. Many of the assumptions are very special but not essential to the qualitative results. It is useful at this point to discuss briefly a few of the key ones. The assumption that workers do not know their type ex ante, while relatively implausible in this strict form, is not crucial. Our basic results still hold if workers perfectly knew their type ex ante. In the case with commitment, however, low ability workers will not choose to exert effort anymore, since they do not get a payoff from it. More important, the firm will be able to induce high ability workers to exert effort with a lower wage commitment. The range of parameters where wage commitments can ensure firm-sponsored training will therefore be larger. In the case of Germany, however, where workers enter apprenticeships at a relatively young age, like 15 or 16, it is unlikely that they have very good knowledge about all their own aptitudes and comparative advantages. We have also assumed that certification allows perfect discrimination between workers who have exerted effort during training and those who have not. In practice, effort and ability may be substitutes in examinations, so that more able workers may be able to obtain the training certificate with less effort than low ability workers. This makes putting in no effort more attractive for workers in the certification case, and therefore leads to a more stringent condition than (5). In Acemoglu and Pischke (1998), we show that the adverse selection model becomes more interesting when the decision of workers to quit voluntarily at the beginning of period t=1 is not completely exogenous. Instead, we model the quit decision as depending on the relative inside and outside wages, i.e. a fraction 1−F(w−v) of workers quits, where F is a probability distribution function. We show that in this setup multiple equilibria are possible. One equilibrium may be characterized by few quits, low outside wages, and lots of training, while another equilibrium exhibits a high quit rate, a high outside wage and little or no training. It is similarly possible to obtain multiple equilibria in the certification case. This implies that introducing certification in an economy without such credentials and no training may not necessarily lead to a high training equilibrium. If, for example, the initial turnover rate of the economy is too high, training may not arise in this particular economy, even though it could be sustained as an equilibrium. This highlights that certification is only one institutional feature which helps support training in an economy like Germany.