Technological Change and the Skill Acquisition of Young Workers

Ann Bartel and Nachum Sicherman


In this paper, we investigate the impact of technological change on young workers' investments in on-the-job training. Human capital theory does not provide a clear prediction on the sign of this relationship. Although higher rates of obsolescence will decrease training investments, technological change may increase the productivity of human capital, reduce the cost of training, or increase the value of time in training relative to work. Hence, empirical analysis is needed to determine whether young workers receive more or less on-the-job training in response to technological change, and, in particular, how this relationship depends on the worker's education level.