Recent Investments in Human Capital and its Effect on the Chances of Escaping from Low-Paid Jobs: The Spanish Case
ABSTRACT General education and training are major forces determining earnings. According to the human capital model, wage differentials among individuals over the life-cycle are largely the result of different patterns of investment in human capital. This paper is intended to analyze the effects of recent investments in human capital – general education, vocational/training or language courses - on workers’ relative earnings and on the probability of making an upwards transition in the earnings distribution. The analysis is done for Spain, using the European Community Household Panel (1995-2001). Our results reveal that having been recently in education or training (mainly vocational/training courses) significantly increases the probability of escaping from low pay to better paid jobs, while decreases the risk of falling into low-wage employment. Furthermore, this positive effect is significantly higher among those workers with a third level of general education completed. A separate analysis for females also reveals these positive returns of recent investments in human capital relative earnings, although in this case they appear to be none statistically significant.