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Employment-related further training in a dynamic labor market: The role of business cycles and technological change

Prof. Dr. Silke Anger, Institute for Employment Research
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pollak, Berlin Social Science Center

Ute Leber, Institute for Employment Research
Simon Janssen, Institute for Employment Research
Pascal Heß, Institute for Employment Research
Wiebke Schulz, Berlin Social Science Center

Project summary:
Throughout the recent decade, technological change, international trade, and economic turbulences have accelerated in the globalized world, such that labor markets have become more and more dynamic. As a result, workers have to handle steadily changing technologies and face highly competitive workers in an international labor market. In addition, many workers have to switch their jobs more frequently as a consequence of cyclical fluctuations. In such dynamic labor markets workers have to continuously invest in human capital to maintain and increase their productivity. Otherwise, they are likely to experience long-lasting negative consequences for their careers. It is, therefore, not surprising that further training and lifelong learning, such as on-the-job training and retraining, have gained increasing attention in the public media and the political debate. However, existing research provides only little evidence about how dynamic labor markets influence workers’ training participation, and how workers’ returns to training have evolved facing the economic developments in recent years. The proposed project aims at closing this research gap by analyzing three specific topics that are essential to understand the importance of further training in dynamic labor markets. First, we will analyze how the automatization and digitalization of work processes across different occupations have influenced workers’ training participation. Second, we will investigate how economic turbulences, in particular job displacements, influence workers’ training participation, and, third, we will explore the returns of further training in the form of worker competences and job contents.