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Are There Returns To The Wages Of Young Men From Working While In School?

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  • V. Joseph Hotz
  • Lixin Colin Xu
  • Marta Tienda
  • Avner Ahituv

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of work experience acquired while youth were in high school (and college) on young men's wage rates. Previous studies have found sizeable and persistent rates of return to working while enrolled in school, especially high school, on subsequent wage growth. We evaluate the extent to which these estimates represent causal effects by assessing the robustness of prior findings to controls for unobserved heterogeneity and sample selectivity. We explore moregeneral econometric methods for dealing with the dynamic of selection and apply them to data on young men from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). We find that the estimated returns to working while in high school or college are dramatically diminished in magnitude and are not statistically significant when one applies dynamic selection methods. © 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 84 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 221-236

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:84:y:2002:i:2:p:221-236

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  1. Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1979. "High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience," NBER Working Papers 0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hotz, V Joseph & Robert A. Miller & Seth Sanders & Jeffrey Smith, 1994. "A Simulation Estimator for Dynamic Models of Discrete Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 265-89, April.
  3. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Models for the Analysis of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hotz, V Joseph & Miller, Robert A, 1993. "Conditional Choice Probabilities and the Estimation of Dynamic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 497-529, July.
  6. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1985. "Employment While in College, Academic Achievement and Post-College Outcomes: A Summary of Results," NBER Working Papers 1742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," NBER Working Papers 5030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Heckman, J.J. & Hotz, V.J., 1988. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods For Estimating The Impact Of Social Programs: The Case Of Manpower Training," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-12, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  9. Lisa M. Lynch, 1986. "The Youth Labor Market in the 80s: Determinants of Re-Employment Probabilities for Young Men and Women," NBER Working Papers 2021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James J. Heckman, 1981. "Heterogeneity and State Dependence," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 91-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  13. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "The Solution and Estimation of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models by Simulation and Interpolation: Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 648-72, November.
  14. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  15. Avner Ahituv & Marta Tienda & Lixin Xu & V. Joseph Hotz, . "Initial Labor Market Experiences of Black, Hispanic and White Men," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 94-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  16. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1989. "The Specification and Estimation of Dynamic Stochastic Discrete Choice Models: A Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 562-598.
  17. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1991. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," NBER Working Papers 3804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-94, July.
  19. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
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