- Small States and Skill Specificity: Austria, Switzerland, and Interemployer Cleavages in Coordinated Capitalism
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- by Culpepper, Pepper
- The varieties of capitalism literature has put skill systems at the center of
comparative politics. Yet its claims about skill specificity are driven by two
large coordinated economies, Germany and Japan. This article examines
political change of skills in two small coordinated economies. Switzerland
has expanded its general skills orientation, whereas Austria retains a highly
specific skills system. The cause of this divergence is the different interests
of small and large employers: Small employers are more cost sensitive than
are large employers, which leads them to oppose the introduction of more
general education. The study also shows that the primary measure of skill
specificity used in quantitative work—vocational training share—is unreliable.
It fails to distinguish between secondary and tertiary vocational training,
which have opposite effects on skill specificity. The article develops and
justifies an alternative measure—tertiary vocational training—that better predicts
the skills clusters observed in advanced capitalism.
- Publication Type: Published Paper
- Published Date: June 2007
- Field of Interest: International Economics
- Culpepper, Pepper. "Small States and Skill Specificity." Comparative Political Studies 40, no. 6 (June 2007), 611-637.