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High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience

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  • Robert H. Meyer
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

The relationship between high school training and work experience on the one hand and early labor force experience on the other are analyzed in the paper. In addition, the extent and nature of the persistence of early labor force experience is evaluated. The study is based on data for male youths from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. While there appears to be no relationship between job-related training in high school and post-graduation weeks worked or wage rates, there is a strong relationship between hours worked while in high school and both weeks worked and wage rates in the first four years after graduation. High school class rank and test scores also are positively related to early weeks worked and wage rates in the labor force. It is also found that after controlling for individual specific characteristics of youth, there is little relationship between weeks worked in the first year after high school graduation and weeks worked four years later. And there is almost no relationship between initial wage rates and wage rates four years later, other than those attributable to measured and unmeasured individual specific characteristics. There is little persistence of early experience that cannot be attributed to heterogeneity among youth. There is, however, an effect of early work experience on later wage rates, although it is of modest magnitude in this sample of high school graduates.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0342.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0342.

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Date of creation: May 1979
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Publication status: published as Meyer, Robert H. and Wise, David A. "High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience." The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes and Consequences, edited by Richard B. Freeman and David A. Wise, pp. 277-34 8. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0342

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  1. Wise, David A, 1975. "Academic Achievement and Job Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 350-66, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," NBER Working Papers 5030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Molitor, Christopher J. & Leigh, Duane E., 2005. "In-school work experience and the returns to two-year and four-year colleges," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 459-468, August.
  3. Magali Beffy & Denis Fougère & Arnaud Maurel, 2009. "The Impact of Students' Paid Employment on Pursuit and Completion of University Studies," Economie et Statistique, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, vol. 422, pages 31-50, November.
  4. V. Joseph Hotz & Lixin Xu & Marta Tienda & Avner Ahituv, 1999. "Are There Returns to the Wages of Young Men from Working While in School?," JCPR Working Papers 101, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Harry J. Holzer & Robert J. LaLonde, 1999. "Job Change and Job Stability Among Less-Skilled Young Workers," JCPR Working Papers 80, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. Marigee Bacolod & V. Joseph Hotz, 2005. "Cohort Changes in the Transition from School to Work: What Changed and What Consequences Did it have for Wages?," Working Papers 050618, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  7. Had Phillips & Harold Votey, 1987. "Rational choice models of crimes by youth," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 129-187, June.
  8. Light, Audrey, 1999. "High school employment, high school curriculum, and post-school wages," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-309, June.
  9. H. J. Holzer, . "Employer hiring decisions and antidiscrimination policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1085-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  10. 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.
  11. H. J. Holzer, . "Employer Demand, AFDC Recipients, and Labor Market Policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1115-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  12. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & John H. Tyler, 1999. "Who Benefits from Obtaining a GED? Evidence from High School and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 7172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Baril, Robert & Robidoux, Benoît & Lemelin, Clément, 1987. "La demande d’éducation des jeunes québécois," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 63(1), pages 5-25, mars.
  14. Buscha, Franz & Maurel, Arnaud & Page, Lionel & Speckesser, Stefan, 2008. "The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment: A Conditional Difference-in-Differences Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3696, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. David T. Ellwood, 1983. "Teenage Unemployment: Permanent Scars or Temporary Blemishes?," NBER Working Papers 0399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bacolod, Marigee & Joseph Hotz, V., 2006. "Cohort changes in the transition from school to work: Evidence from three NLS surveys," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 351-373, August.

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