Labor Markets, Education, Population

Project: Further Training as a Part of Lifelong Learning (WeLL)

The main target of the project “Further Training as a Part of Lifelong Learning” (Berufliche Weiterbildung als Bestandteil Lebenslangen Lernens – WeLL) was to establish a data set with the particular focus on continuous training that contains information on training investments of employers and employees. This data set is the basis to analyze determinants and effects of further training decisions on the part of employers and employees.

The project was conducted by RWI, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), infas – Institute for Applied Social Sciences and the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE). Financial support was provided by the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft from January 2007 to December 2009.

Objectives and Implementation

The importance of employees' human capital, i.e. the sum of their skills and knowledge, for firms increases in response to technological change and intensified product market competition. Therefore, the development and implementation of lifelong learning at the firm level gain in importance. The idea of lifelong learning is that acquiring skills should encompass all periods over the life cycle and that it is no longer restricted to adolescents only. A promising tool to fulfill the requirements of lifelong learning is continuous training because it enables employees to upgrade their skills frequently.

Training is a flexible tool that can consider both firms' training needs (e.g. for the introduction of new technologies or products) and workers' ability and learning capacity. Furthermore, in Germany training costs are most often a shared investment between employers and employees which might also affect how training returns are shared. Therefore, it could be important to analyze training investments as a joint decision of firms and workers.

However, regarding the importance of training, little is known so far on how firms and workers interact when it comes to training decisions. The reason for this 'knowledge gap' is the sparse data linking training information of employers and employees. Within the project WeLL, a data set with the particular focus on continuous training is established that provides information on both employers and employees. Based on this data set, the following research topics will be addressed:

  • Determining employer and employee characteristics that affect training investments.
  • Analysis how monetary and non-monetary costs and returns are shared between employers and employees.
  • Identification of the causal effect of training on wage development, employment probability and mobility decisions.
  • Providing evidence on individual, firm-specific and social returns and costs of training.

The survey of employees was designed as a panel data set. . The first wave was conducted in the end of 2007/ January 2008 and the second wave was conducted in the end of 2008. The third wave was finished in 2009 and a fourth wave was conducted in 2010. Panel data is necessary to gain insights into the development of individual training investment in the course of time and differentiating short-run and medium-run training returns.

For information on how to get data access please visit the homepage of the Research Data Center (FDZ) of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).

Team

» Stefan Bender
Institute for Employment Research (IAB),

» Michael Fertig
ISG,

» Katja Görlitz
RWI,

» Martina Huber
Institute for Employment Research (IAB),

» Stefan Hummelsheim
German Institute for Adult Education (DIE),

» Petra Knerr
infas – Institute for Applied Social Sciences,

» Helmut Schröder
infas – Institute for Applied Social Sciences,

» Alexandra Schmucker
Institute for Employment Research (IAB),

Publications

Bender, S., M. Fertig, K. Görlitz, M. Huber, S. Hummelsheim, P. Knerr, A. Schmucker and H. Schröder (2008), WeLL – Berufliche Weiterbildung als Bestandteil Lebenslangen Lernens. RWI Materialien 45. Essen.

Bender, S., M. Fertig, K. Görlitz, M. Huber and A. Schmucker (2009), WeLL – Unique Linked Employer-Employee Data on Further Training in Germany. Journal of Applied Social Science Studies – Schmollers Jahrbuch 129 (4): 637–643.

Bender, S., M. Fertig, K. Görlitz, M. Huber, S. Hummelsheim, P. Knerr, A. Schmucker and H. Schröder (2010), WeLL – Berufliche Weiterbildung als Bestandteil Lebenslangen Lernens – Bisherige Arbeiten und Perspektiven. RWI Materialien 61. Essen.

Fertig, M. and K. Görlitz (2012), Item Nonresponse in Wages: Testing for Biased Estimates in Wage Equations. Ruhr Economic Papers #333. RWI, Essen.

Fertig, M. and M. Huber (2010), , Beteiligung an beruflicher Weiterbildung: Nicht nur eine Frage des Geldes. IAB-Forum 2010 (1): 24–29.

Görlitz, K. (2010), The Effect of Subsidizing Continuous Training Investments – Evidence from German Establishment Data. Labour Economics 17 (5): 789–798.Görlitz, K. (2010), The Development of Employers' Training Investments Over Time A Decomposition Analysis Using German Establishment Data. Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik 230 (2): 186–207.

Görlitz, K. (2010), Continuous Training and Wages – An Empirical Analysis Using a Comparison-group Approach. Ruhr Economic Papers #197. RWI, Essen.

Görlitz, K. and J. Stiebale (2008), Does Product Market Competition Decrease Employers' Training Investments? – Evidence from German Establishment Panel Data. Ruhr Economic Papers #41. RWI, Essen.

Görlitz, K. und M. Tamm (2011), Revisiting the Complementarity between Education and Training – The Role of Personality, Working Tasks and Firm Effects. Ruhr Economic Papers #307. RWI, Essen.

Huber, M. and A. Schmucker (2009), Identifying and explaining inconsistencies in linked administrative and survey data – the case of German employment biographies. Historical Social Research 34 (3): 230–241.

Huber, M., S. Möller and A. Schmucker (2009), Panel “WeLL” Arbeitnehmerbefragung für das Projekt “Berufliche Weiterbildung als Bestandteil Lebenslangen Lernens”. FDZ Datenreport 05/2009 (de). Nürnberg.

Huber, M. (2009), Frauen ab 50 - Bedürfnisse und betriebliche Barrieren im Bereich der beruflichen Weiterbildung. In B. Blättel-Mink und C. Kramer (Hrsg.), Doing Aging – Weibliche Perspektiven des Älterwerdens. Schriften des Heidelberger Instituts für Interdisziplinäre Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung 7. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 127–138.

Hummelsheim, S. (2009), Finanzierung der Weiterbildung in Deutschland. Reihe Studientexte des DIE. Bielefeld.

Knerr, P., H. Schröder, F. Aust and R. Gilberg (2009), Berufliche Weiterbildung als Bestandteil Lebenslangen Lernens (WeLL) – WeLL-Erhebung 2007 – Methodenbericht. FDZ Methodenreport 06/2009 (de). Nürnberg.

Schmucker, A. and M. Huber (2009), Linking process generated employment data with survey data – an assessment of the linkage and response quality. FDZ Methodenreport 05/2009 (en). Nürnberg.

Contact

Katja Görlitz

Phone: +49 (201) 8149-268
Fax: +49 (201) 8149-200

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