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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the returns to employers and to society at large. It argues that, in certain circumstances, the private returns to individuals will be greater than the economic returns to society. This is because individuals may simply be buying credentials which advantage them in a labour market characterized by positional competition, without necessarily been more productively employed than they would have been had they not received the training in question. The chapter goes on to argue that the extant literature on returns to employers is indecisive and, linked to this, that official rationales for government training subsidies to employers are often confused. Finally it considers the non-economic returns to training.

Keywords: returns to employers, skill policy, skill under-utilisation, social returns, subsidies, work-based training

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