Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession: Hysteresis and Heterogeneity in the Market for College Graduates

Contents:

Author Info

  • Philip Oreopoulos
  • Till von Wachter
  • Andrew Heisz

Abstract

The standard neo-classical model of wage setting predicts short-term effects of temporary labor market shocks on careers and low costs of recessions for both more and less advantaged workers. In contrast, a vast range of alternative career models based on frictions in the labor market suggests that labor market shocks can have persistent effects on the entire earnings profile. This paper analyzes the long-term effects of graduating in a recession on earnings, job mobility, and employer characteristics for a large sample of Canadian college graduates with different predicted earnings using matched university-employer-employee data from 1982 to 1999, and uses its results to assess the importance of alternative career models. We find that young graduates entering the labor market in a recession suffer significant initial earnings losses that eventually fade, but after 8 to 10 years. We also document substantial heterogeneity in the costs of recessions and important effects on job mobility and employer characteristics, but small effects on time worked. These adjustment patterns are neither consistent with a neo-classical spot market nor a complete scarring effect, but could be explained by a combination of time intensive search for better employers and long-term wage contracting. All results are robust to an extensive sensitivity analysis including controls for correlated business cycle shocks after labor market entry, endogenous timing of graduation, permanent cohort differences, and selective labor force participation.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12159.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12159.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12159

Note: CH LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Lawrence F. Katz & Gary W. Loveman & David G. Blanchflower, 1993. "A Comparison of Changes in the Structure of Wages," NBER Working Papers 4297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Efficiency and Sticky Wages: Evidence from Flows in the Labor Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 397-407, August.
  3. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
  4. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2000. "The Welfare Cost of Business Cycles Revisited: Finite Lives and Cyclical Variation in Idiosyncratic Risk," NBER Working Papers 8040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz, 1989. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," NBER Working Papers 3182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Harry Krashinsky, 2002. "Evidence on adverse selection and establishment size in the labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 84-96, October.
  7. James R. Hines Jr. & Hilary W. Hoynes & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Another Look at Whether a Rising Tide Lifts All Boats," NBER Working Papers 8412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 285-299, June.
  9. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain The Rising Return To College For Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746, May.
  10. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  11. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  12. David Neumark, 1998. "Youth Labor Markets in the U.S.: Shopping Around vs. Staying Put," NBER Working Papers 6581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Discussion Papers 488, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1989. "Testing for Consistency using Artificial Regressions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 363-384, December.
  15. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. Rosella Gardecki & David Neumark, 1998. "Order from chaos? The effects of early labor market experiences on adult labor market outcomes," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 299-322, January.
  17. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
  18. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The Cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 835-850, July.
  19. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2004. "Task-Specific Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 203-207, May.
  20. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  21. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, October.
  22. Karsten Albaek & Bent E. Sorensen, 1995. "Worker Flows and Job Flows in Danish Manufacturing, 1980-91," Discussion Papers 95-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  23. Paul Oyer, 2006. "The Macro-Foundations of Microeconomics: Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," NBER Working Papers 12157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  25. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  26. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Adapting to Circumstances: The Evolution of Work, School, and Living Arrangements Among North American Youth," Working Papers 765, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  27. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green, 2000. "Cohort patterns in Canadian earnings: assessing the role of skill premia in inequality trends," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 907-936, November.
  28. Derek Neal, 1998. "The Complexity of Job Mobility Among Young Men," NBER Working Papers 6662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Lawrence F. Katz & Gary W. Loveman & David G. Blanchflower, 1995. "A Comparison of Changes in the Structure of Wages in Four OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 25-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Julian Betts & Christopher Ferrall & Ross Finnie, 2006. "The Role of University Characteristics in Determining Post-Graduation Outcomes: Panel Evidence from Three Recent Canadian Cohorts," Working Papers 1055, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  31. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating The Payoff To Attending A More Selective College: An Application Of Selection On Observables And Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527, November.
  32. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  33. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "A Near-rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Intertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 823-38, Supp..
  34. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2002. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 8889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Paul Beaudry & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 1999. "What Is Happening in the Youth Labour Market in Canada?," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-44, CIRANO.
  36. Ossama Mikhail & Curtis J. Eberwein & Jagdish Handa, 2003. "Testing and Estimating Persistence in Canadian Unemployment," Econometrics 0311004, EconWPA.
  37. Derek Neal, 1998. "The Link between Ability and Specialization: An Explanation for Observed Correlations between Wages and Mobility Rates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 173-200.
  38. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  39. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  40. Robert B. Barsky & Gary Solon, 1989. "Real Wages Over The Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  42. Robert E. Hall, 1974. "The Process of Inflation in the Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 5(2), pages 343-410.
  43. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  44. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  45. Gadi Barlevy, 2005. "The cost of business cycles and the benefits of stabilization," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-49.
  46. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  47. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
  48. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  49. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  50. Wayne Vroman, 1977. "Worker Upgrading and the Business Cycle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 229-252.
  51. Farber, Henry S, 1994. "The Analysis of Interfirm Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 554-93, October.
  52. repec:fth:prinin:343 is not listed on IDEAS
  53. David E. Bloom & Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "The "Youth Problem": Age or Generational Crowding?," NBER Working Papers 1829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1999. "Artificial Regressions," Working Papers 978, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  55. Daniel Aaronson & Sara Christopher, 2004. "Employment growth in higher-paying sectors," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Sep.
  56. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  57. Richard B. Freeman, 1981. "Career Patterns of College Graduates in a Declining Job Market," NBER Working Papers 0750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The intergenerational question
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-10-18 13:45:11
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12159. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.