In summer 2021, the new “Swiss Leading House VPET-ECON: A Research Center on the Economics of Education, Firm Behavior and Training Policies” replaces the previous Leading House “Economics of Education”. The new "Leading House VPET-ECON" thus guarantees the continuation of the previous research activities, the promotion of young researchers and the transfer of knowledge for another twelve years. In addition, it clearly and structurally expands previous work.
The new “Swiss Leading House VPET-ECON” will again be affiliated with both the University of Zurich and the University of Bern. The business and economics research analyzes a variety of aspects linked to vocational education and training by focusing on the different perspectives of the key players in vocational education and training, i.e., firms, individuals, the state and professional organizations. The research of the "Swiss Leading House VPET-ECON" focuses in a first step on an in-depth analysis of three cutting-edge research topics. First, on how characteristics of apprenticeship training programs affect labor market outcomes and innovation; second, on the effects of economic shocks on firms’ apprenticeship offers and individual apprenticeship choices; and, third, on effects of educational policy interventions on educational and labor market choices and outcomes.
The research of the new “Swiss Leading House VPET-ECON” thereby builds on most current theories and methods of applied microeconomics and human capital theory and combines them with the latest findings from neighboring disciplines, such as social psychology, educational research, sociology or computer science. In the long-term, further, interdisciplinary and forward-looking research topics will be developed. Furthermore, the promotion of junior academics will be structurally extended by the establishment of new assistant professorships in addition to the already well-established course program for doctoral students in economics of education. These new assistant professorships will also enable the new “Leading House VPET-ECON” to assemble new junior research groups.