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date: 28 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article surveys the literature on skill formation and training, presenting arguments about the significance of skills and the historical sources of variation in training regimes. It considers briefly a range of arguments by economists and political scientists on the implications of different, nationally specific models of skill formation. The article presents an overview of the various typologies that have been devised to characterize cross-national differences in training systems, and links these to recent claims about how vocational education and training systems fit into broader national political-economic models. It turns to the question of the origins of cross-national differences in training and skill-formation systems. Most of the historical literature is organized around the analysis of single country cases, and only a few works are explicitly comparative.

Keywords: skill formation, training, economists, political scientists, vocational education, political-economic models

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