Author: Anika Jansen, Andries de Grip, Ben Kriechel

Client: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Publisher: IZA DP No. 9697

Year: 2016

Language: English

Building on Lazear’s skill weights approach, we study the effect of having more or less
heterogeneity in the training curriculum on supply of and demand for apprenticeship training.
Modernizations of training curricula provide us with a quasi?experimental setting as these
modernizations can be seen as a relatively exogenous shock. We argue that firms will train
more apprentices when they have more choice options in the training curriculum because of
(1) the higher productivity of graduates who have acquired more skills that are relevant for
the firm and (2) firms’ higher market power in the wage bargaining process with graduates.
We test this hypothesis on data on the supply of apprenticeship places in Germany in all
occupations from 2004 to 2014. We find that a more heterogeneous curriculum increases
both firms’ supply of and students’ demand for training places.