Technological change, unemployment and industrial restructuring have highlighted training and the acquisition of skills as a policy issue. There is widespread concern that employees are insufficiently skilled, and it is recognised that this deficiency can have serious economic consequences. The situation is likely to become particularly urgent, as the dramatic increase in the share of temporary and part-time employment in the OECD leads to a decline in the incentives to train. This 1996 book, from the Centre for Economic Policy Research, provides a systematic account of the causes, consequences, and policy implications of failure in training provision and skills acquisition in the industrial world. It explains why the market mechanism leads people to under-invest in skills and examines the empirical outcome of these problems using a portfolio of examples for European countries.
• Identifies the main market failures in training • Examines policy initiatives for narrowing skills gaps • Will be of great interest and importance to both researchers and policy-makers in industrial relations and labour economics • This is the only comprehensive survey of this highly topical subject currently available
List of figures; List of tables; Preface; List of contributors; 1. Introduction: does the free market produce enough skills? Alison L. Booth and Dennis J. Snower; Part I. Market Failures: the Causes of Skills Gaps: 2. Transferable training and poaching externalities Margaret Stevens; 3. Credit constraints, investment externalities and growth Daron Acemoglu; 4. Education and matching externalities Kenneth Burdett and Eric Smith; 5. Dynamic competition for market share and the failure of the market for skilled labour David Ulph; 6. The low-skill, bad-job trap Dennis J. Snower; Part II. Empirical Consequences of Skills Gaps: 7. Changes in the relative demand for skills Stephen Machin; 8. Skill shortages, productivity growth and wage inflation Jonathan Haskel and Christopher Martin; 9. Workforce skills, product quality and economic performance Geoff Mason, Bart Van Ark, and Karin Wagner; 10. Workforce skills and export competitiveness Nicholas Oulton; Part III. Government Failures and Policy Issues: 11. Market failure and government failure in skills investment David Finegold; 12. Training implications of regulation compliance and business cycles Alan Felstead and Francis Green; 13. On apprenticeship qualifications and labour mobility Alison L. Booth and Stephen Satchell; 14. Evaluating the assumptions that underlie training policy Ewart Keep and Ken Mayhew; 15. Conclusions: government policy to promote the acquisition of skills Dennis J. Snower and Alison L. Booth; Index.