Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), I examine the relation between workers’ reciprocal attitudes, as measured in 2005 and 2010, and participation in work-related training courses in 2007 and 2013, respectively. Theory predicts that employers find it more profitable to invest in human capital of workers who have positively reciprocal attitudes, because they are more likely to return their employer’s kindness with higher effort and/or loyalty. The findings are mixed, depending on the survey year. I find that positively reciprocal workers are more likely to participate in employer-financed training in 2007, in particular when training is general. Also consistent with theoretical expectations, I do not find a relation between workers’ reciprocal attitudes and participation in training that is not financed by the employer. However, workers’ reciprocal attitudes are not related to training participation in 2013. A possible explanation is that employers use training to induce reciprocal feelings in a slack labour market only.
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- Reciprocity, training, SOEP