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The fortunes of one's birth: Relative cohort size and the youth labor market in the United States

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  • Diane J. Macunovich

    (Maxwell Center for Policy Research, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA (Fax:)

Abstract

Using two different measures of relative cohort size - one indicating the size and placement of an individual's own birth cohort, and the other, the ratio of young to prime age adults in the United States in that year - it has been possible to isolate strong effects of the population age structure on wages in the United States over the past thirty-three years. These effects have been strong enough that virtually all of the observed change in the experience premium, and a substantial proportion of the changes in the college wage premium, can be explained by the relative cohort size variables alone. Even changes in the amount of within-group variance in wages appear to be largely a function of changing age structure, and absolute wage levels have been strongly affected by these demographic changes, suggesting that population growth can have positive effects on the economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 215-272

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:12:y:1999:i:2:p:215-272

Note: Received: 27 January 1998/Accepted: 6 June 1998 received from the people at the Maxwell Center, financial support through an NIA Fellowship, and Richard Easterlin's inspiration and support - and thanks Lee Lillard for providing her first opportunity to work with the CPS on `youth labor markets'. More detailed information on the work presented here - including results for African Americans and for those not working full time, as well as for other experience groups - are available in Macunovich, 1998. Responsible editor: Klaus F. Zimmermann-->
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Keywords: Wages · cohort size · youth labor market;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michael Gebel & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2010. "Educational Expansion and Its Heterogeneous Returns for Wage Workers," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 130(1), pages 19-42.
  2. Matthew Higgins & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1999. "Explaining Inequality the World Round: Cohort Size, Kuznets Curves, andOpenness," NBER Working Papers 7224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2003. "Individual Mortality and Macro-Economic Conditions from Birth to Death," IZA Discussion Papers 930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Bernhard Boockmann & Viktor Steiner, 2006. "Cohort effects and the returns to education in West Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1135-1152.
  5. Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003. "Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden," Arbetsrapport 2003:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
  6. Diane Macunovich, 1999. "Relative Cohort Size: Source of a Unifying Theory of Global Fertility Transition," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 8, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  7. Alfred Garloff & Carsten Pohl & Norbert Schanne, 2011. "Do smaller labour market entry cohorts really reduce German unemployment?," ERSA conference papers ersa10p658, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Diane Macunovich, 1999. "The Role of Relative Cohort Size and Relative Income in the Demographic Transition," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 9, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  9. Alfred Garloff & Carsten Pohl & Norbert Schanne, 2013. "Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(15), pages 379-406, September.
  10. Morin, Louis-Philippe, 2011. "Cohort Size and Youth Earnings: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-28, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2011.
  11. Diane Macunovich, 1999. "The Baby Boom As It Ages: How Has It Affected Patterns of Consumptions and Savings in the United States?," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 7, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  12. Paraskevi Salamaliki & Ioannis Venetis & Nicholas Giannakopoulos, 2013. "The causal relationship between female labor supply and fertility in the USA: updated evidence via a time series multi-horizon approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 109-145, January.
  13. Tim Slack & Leif Jensen, 2008. "Birth and Fortune Revisited: A Cohort Analysis of Underemployment, 1974–2004," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 27(6), pages 729-749, December.
  14. Michael R. Smith, 2001. "Technological Change, the Demand for Skills, and the Adequacy of their Supply," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-22, March.

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