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The Analysis of Firms and EmployeesQuantitative and Qualitative Approaches$
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Stefan Bender, Julia Lane, and Kathryn L. Shaw

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226042879

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226042893.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover

The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover

A Case Study Analysis

(p.197) 6 The Effect of Tuition Reimbursement on Turnover
The Analysis of Firms and Employees

Colleen Flaherty Manchester

University of Chicago Press

Gary S. Becker's (1964) seminal work on investment in human capital makes a fundamental distinction between general and firm-specific skills, which has implications for investment and employee turnover. Firm-specific human capital is defined as having value only to the current employment relationship, while general human capital is valuable to both current and potential employers. Becker's theory predicts that employees will bear the full cost of general skills training—either by paying for training directly or by accepting lower wages during training periods—because employers face the threat of not capturing the return on their investment due to “poaching” of trained employees by other employers. Tuition reimbursement programs are an example of general skills training provided by firms. This chapter examines empirically whether employees who participate in tuition reimbursement have higher retention rates than non-participants using a case study analysis of workers at a nonprofit institution. The results indicate that participation reduces employee turnover. Hence, general skills training increases retention.

Keywords:   human capital, tuition reimbursement, employee turnover, general skills training, Gary S. Becker, retention, workers, firms, employers

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