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Local market scale and the pattern of job changes among young men

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  • Christopher H. Wheeler

Abstract

In finding a career, workers tend to make numerous job changes, with the majority of 'complex' changes (i.e. those involving changes of industry) occurring relatively early in their working lives. This pattern suggests that workers tend to experiment with different types of work before settling on the one they like best. Of course, since the extent of economic diversity differs substantially across local labor markets in the U.S. (e.g. counties and cities), this career search process may exhibit important differences depending on the size of a worker’s local market. This paper explores this issue using a sample of young male workers drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort. The results uncover two rather striking patterns. First, the likelihood that a worker changes industries rises with the size and diversity of his local labor market when considering the first job change he makes. Second, however, this association gradually decreases as a worker makes greater numbers of job changes. By the time he makes his fourth change, the likelihood of changing industries significantly decreases with the scale and diversity of the local market. Both results are consistent with the idea that cities play an important role in the job matching process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2005-033.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2005-033

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Keywords: Labor market ; Human capital;

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Cited by:
  1. Andini, Monica & de Blasio, Guido & Duranton, Gilles & Strange, William C., 2013. "Marshallian labour market pooling: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1008-1022.
  2. Jaison R. Abel & Richard Deitz, 2012. "Agglomeration and job matching among college graduates," Staff Reports 587, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Moretti, Enrico, 2011. "Local Labor Markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Daniel F. Heuermann, 2009. "Career Networks and Job Matching - Evidence on the Microeconomic Foundations of Human Capital Externalities," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 200901, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  5. Freedman, Matthew L., 2008. "Job hopping, earnings dynamics, and industrial agglomeration in the software publishing industry," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 590-600, November.
  6. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2007. "Thick-market effects and churning in the labor market: evidence from U.S. cities," Working Papers 07-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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