There is political concern about the role of education for growth. It is argued that the weak growth rates in Germany compared to the US since the 80s are possibly the result of an unfavourable mix of vocational and general education and a lack of efficiency in the German educational system. Due to the immense progress in the information- and communication technologies (the computer revolution) skill specific knowledge shows up with faster obsolescence while general education does not or to a lesser degree. Since vocational training generates more skill-specific knowledge the computer revolution generated disadvantages. Scarce resources have been wasted into a system that has problems to cope with technological progress.In the project new measures of skill obsolescence are created based on recent survey data (BIBB/IAB-survey on qualification and work histories). With microeconometric models two hypotheses are tested. First it is tested whether skill obsolescence is indeed lower for general compared to vocational education and second it is tested whether the computer revolution fostered skill obsolescence for employees who received their education in the vocational system.

Selected Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

Discussion and Working Papers

Ludwig, Volker and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2005), Abschreibungsraten allgemeiner und beruflicher Ausbildungsinhalte, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 05-36, Mannheim, LLL:citation.label.journal: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik. Download

Project duration

01.08.2002 - 30.12.2005

Project members

PD Dr. Friedhelm Pfeiffer (Coordinator)

Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Winfried Pohlmeier, Universität Konstanz, Konstanz, DE