The “Swiss Leading House VPET-ECON: A Research Center on the Economics of Education, Firm Behavior and Training Policies” (in the following abbreviated with Leading House VPET-ECON) pursues a research program that focuses on three research areas.
The three research areas tackle questions regarding the three main players of VPET, i.e. firms, individuals and the state. The projects have a common roof in applied microeconomic and human capital theory, which are complemented with social-psychological, educational or sociological theories. A common ground of all Leading House projects is that they apply state-of-the-art econometric methods and use the most advanced and novel national or international data sets, as well as self-collected data and randomized field experiments. They use this common theoretical framework and empirical methods to answer important policy questions in the following three research areas:
- Research area 1 investigates the effects of different characteristics of training programs (apprenticeships and continuous training) on individual labor market outcomes and on innovation outcomes.
- Research Area 2 investigates how firms’ apprenticeship places are affected by different types of economic shocks, such as globalization, opening borders, or COVID-demand shocks.
- Research area 3 examines how educational policy interventions, i.e. changes in the legal frameworks or changes in organizational policies of educational institutions affect the choices or the outcomes of individuals within the education system and later in the labor market.
In addition to its research program, the Leading House VPET-ECON puts great emphasis on developing young researchers (doctoral students and PostDocs) and on providing further career perspectives for advanced young researchers in the field of VPET Economics. Doctoral Students are foremost supported by the Course Program for Doctoral Students in Economics of Education, which is unique in its form in Europe, and young VPET-ECON researchers can further develop their academic careers through the PostDoc-Program of the Leading House. Moreover, as part of their effort to develop young researchers the Leading House VPET-ECON also establishes three Assistant Professorships.
The third part of the Leading House VPET-ECON is its networking and transfer activities such as conferences, academic workshops, practitioner workshops and institutional cooperation.
In all three areas, the activities of the former Leading House "Economics of Education, Firm Behavior and Training Policies" will be continued and expanded.