How to Foster Lifelong Learning: Evidence From a Large and Generous Educational Leave Program
Aktuelle Forschungsprojekte (in Arbeit)
Mit finanzieller Unterstützung von: Jubiläumsfonds der Oesterreichischen Nationalbank
Studie von: Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
Lifelong learning is of increasing importance for developed countries facing structural change and rising labour market dynamics.
To foster lifelong learning, Austria introduced an educational leave programme ("Bildungskarenz") in 1998. Two reforms, in
2001 and 2008, have since made this programme one of the most generous educational leave programmes among OECD countries.
The 2001 reform increased the leave benefit to the level of the unemployment replacement rate, but only for employees of age
45 or older. For those under 45 the benefit level remained at the much-lower level of subsistence allowance. This differential
treatment ended in 2008, when a major reform aligned the leave benefit for employees under the age of 45 to those for older
employees. Using administrative data on all private sector employees in Austria the research proposed in this project will
use this 2008 reform to analyse the causal effect of an increase in benefit generosity on programme take-up. We will also
analyse whether the reform has had heterogeneous effects on participation in lifelong learning for different subgroups of
the labour force. Furthermore, we will investigate whether participation in lifelong learning has a positive effect on the
wage of programme participants, whether the 2008 reform had an effect on the difference between pre- and post-participation
wages and which subgroups show the largest benefit from taking educational leave. Finally, we will analyse whether participation
in lifelong learning increases individuals' resilience against macroeconomic shocks and investigate whether those who took
educational leave had lower unemployment during the Great Recession.
Forschungsbereich:Strukturwandel und Regionalentwicklung