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Population Aging and Trends in the Provision of Continued Education

Publication details

Regina T. Riphahn, Parvati Trübswetter

This study investigates whether the incidence of continued vocational education has
changed as the German workforce commenced an aging process which is expected to
intensify. As the lifespan in productive employment lengthens human capital investments
for older workers become increasingly worthwhile. Using the data of a German population
survey we describe recent trends in the development of human capital investments and
apply decomposition procedures to the probability of continued education. Holding
everything else constant the shift in the population age distribution by itself would have
lead to a decline in training participation over the considered period, 1996-2004. However,
the decomposition analyses yield that behavioral changes caused an increase in training
particularly among older workers. This is confirmed by multivariate regressions on pooled
cross-sectional data: the increase in training probabilities is highest among older workers.