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Training and Promotion: Allocation of Skills or Incentives?



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       The author’s affiliation is Department of Business Administration, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain. E-mail: I am grateful to Mike Bognanno, Mark Bryan, Pascal Courty, Thomas Dohmen, Manuel F. Bagüés, Maia Güell, Miguel Ángel Malo, Peter Mueser, Jaime Ortega, Neus Palomeras, Eduardo Rodes, Trond Petersen (editor), and three anonymous referees for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this work. Financial support under Grants SEJ2006–01731 and CSD2006–16 (Spanish Government) and S2007/HUM-0413 (Madrid Regional Government) is gratefully acknowledged. The data used in this article were made available through the ESRC Data Archive. The data were originally collected by the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-social Change at the University of Essex (now incorporated within the Institute for Social and Economic Research). Neither the original collectors of the data nor the Archive bear any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here.


This paper analyzes the impact of training on the probability of promotion. Results from the British Household Panel Survey indicate that training increases the probability of promotion of female workers, but not that of male workers. In terms of wages, men obtain significant returns from (general and specific) training acquired with their current employer, while women profit from general training. Overall, results suggest that career moves of women are importantly affected by the market value of their skills, while those of men fit better a model of promotions as providers of incentives.