Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms

Josef Fersterer, Jörn-Steffen Pischke, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer

NBER Working Paper No. 13344
Issued in August 2007
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

Little is known about the payoffs to apprenticeship training in the German speaking countries for the participants. OLS estimates suggest that the returns are similar to those of other types of schooling. However, there is a lot of heterogeneity in the types of apprenticeships offered, and institutional descriptions suggest that there might be an important element of selection in who obtains an apprenticeship, and what type. In order to overcome the resulting ability bias we estimate returns to apprenticeship training for apprentices in failed firms in Austria. When a firm fails, current apprentices cannot complete their training in this firm. Because apprentices will be at different stages in their apprenticeship at that time, the failure of a firm will manipulate the length of the apprenticeship period completed for some apprentices. The time to the firm failure therefore serves as an instrument for the length of the apprenticeship completed both at the original firm and at other firms. We find instrumental variables returns which are similar or larger than the OLS returns in our sample, indicating relatively little selection.

download in pdf format
   (175 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13344

Published: Josef Fersterer, Jörn-Steffen Pischke, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms" Scandinavian Journal of Economics 104, December 2008, 733-753. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Malamud and Pop-Eleches w14155 General Education vs. Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition
Soskice Reconciling Markets and Institutions: The German Apprenticeship System
Harhoff and Kane w4557 Financing Apprenticeship Training: Evidence from Germany
Klenow and Rodríguez-Clare The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?
Heckman w4428 Assessing Clinton's Program on Job Training, Workfare, and Education in the Workplace
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us