The effect of choice options in training curricula on the demand for and supply of apprentices

Anika Jansen, Andries de Grip*, Ben Kriechel

*Corresponding author for this work

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Building on Lazear's skill weights approach, we study the effect of having more or less heterogeneity in the training curriculum on the demand for and supply of apprentices. 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 demand for apprentices in Germany in all occupations from 2004 to 2014. We find that a more heterogeneous curriculum increases both firms’ demand for and the supply of apprentices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-65
Number of pages14
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

JEL classifications

  • j21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"


  • apprenticeships
  • curricula
  • firm-specific training
  • supply of schooling
  • demand for schooling
  • human capital
  • Demand for schooling
  • Human capital
  • Firm-specific training
  • Curricula
  • Supply of schooling
  • Apprenticeships

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