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Who benefits from training and R&D: The firm or the workers

Who benefits from training and R&D: The firm or the workers? A study on panels of French and Swedish firms

Gérard Ballot, Fathi Fakhfakh and Erol Taymaz

Abstract: The present paper offers a novel study of the effects of intangible assets on wages and productivity. Training, R&D, and physical capital are all taken into account, and their joint effects examined. We use panels of firms in order to control for unobserved fixed effects and the potential endogeneity of training and R&D, and have been able to obtain data for two different countries, France and Sweden, in order to explore the effects of institutional or national specificity. The estimation of productivity and wage equations allows us to show how the benefits of investment in physical capital, R&D and training are shared between the firm and the workers. Although the workers obtain significant benefits, the study shows that the firm obtains the largest return on the investments it makes. This is true not only for physical capital and R&D, but also for training. It suggests that firms can rationally invest in training and that the issue of under-investment in training should be re-examined.

JEL Classification J24, D24, O30

Keywords: Training, R&D, productivity, wages

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2002

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