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Sector-Specific Training and Mobility in Germany

This article studies mobility patterns of German workers in light of a model of sector-specific human capital. Furthermore, I employ and describe little-used data on continuous on-the-job training occuring after apprenticeships. Results are presented describing the incidence and duration of continuous training. Continuous training is quite common, depite the high incidence of apprenticeships which precedes this part of a worker's career. Most previous studies have only distinguished between firm-specific and general human capital, generally concluding that training was general. Inconsistent with those conclusions, I show that German men are more likely to find a job within the same sector if they have received continuous training in that sector. These results are similar to results obtained for young U.S. workers, and suggest that sector-specific capital is an important feature of very different labor markets. Furthermore, the results suggest that the observed effect of training on mobility is sensitive to the state of the business cycle, indicating a more complex interaction between supply and demand that most theoretical models allow for.
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