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CVER Research Paper
Vocational vs. General Education and Employment over the Life-Cycle: New Evidence from PIAAC
Franziska Hampf and Ludger Woessmann November 2016
Paper No' CVERDP003:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: J20; J64; I20

Tags: vocational education; apprenticeship; employment; life-cycle; piaac

It has been argued that vocational education facilitates the school-to-work transition but reduces later adaptability to changing environments. Using the recent international PIAAC data, we confirm such a trade-off over the life-cycle in a difference-in-differences model that compares employment rates across education type and age. An initial employment advantage of individuals with vocational compared to general education turns into a disadvantage later in life. Results are strongest in apprenticeship countries that provide the highest intensity of industry-based vocational education.