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Vocational training choice from a regional perspective

Motivated by discussions of skill mismatches on local German vocational educational and training (VET ) markets, this paper analyses how occupational segments of VET entry of individuals with lower and intermediate secondary school degree relate to local labor market characteristics. The econometric analysis applies data from a survey conducted with 9th graders within the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). Considering opportunity structures and the local competition for training positions, we find that the match between occupations’ skill demands and individuals’ abilities tends to be specifically close in diverse and competitive urban labor markets. In non-competitive peripheral labor markets, in contrast, graduates with lower school certificates seem to have a higher likelihood of entering VET in segments that are specifically attractive for graduates with upper secondary school degree. The results on the allocation of abilities and the weight of preferences under different labor market conditions have different welfare implications from an individual, regional and general economic perspective.

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