Not all firms are created equal: SMEs and vocational training in the UK, Italy, and Germany

Chiara Benassi, Niccolo Durazzi, Johann Fortwengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Why do skill formation systems put SMEs at greater disadvantage in some countries than others vis-à-vis large employers? By comparing vocational education and training (VET) institutions and their differential effect on firms of different sizes across three countries (UK, Italy, and Germany), we show that the design of vocational training institutions has profound implications for shaping the ability of SMEs to use institutions as resources. In particular, quasi-market institutions in Britain amplify SMEs’ disadvantage, while non-market coordinating institutions in Italy and Germany narrow the gap between SMEs and large employers. By unpacking the comparative disadvantage of SMEs, we offer important nuances to the argument that institutions help firms coordinate their business activities in different varieties of capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages35
JournalMPIfG Discussion Paper Series
Volume20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • vocational education and training (VET)
  • varieties of capitalism
  • comparative political economy
  • firm size
  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

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