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Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men

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  • Robert H. Topel
  • Michael P. Ward

Abstract

We study the joint processes of job mobility and wage growth among young men drawn from the Longitudinal Employee-Employer Data. Following individuals at three month intervals from their entry into the labor market, we track career patterns of job changing and the evolution of wages for up to 15 years. Following an initial period of weak attachment to both the labor force and particular employers, careers tend to stabilize in the sense of strong labor force attachment and increasing durability of jobs. During the first 10 years in the labor market, a typical young worker will work for seven employers, which accounts for about two-thirds of the total number of jobs he will hold in his career. The evolution of wages plays a key role in this transition to stable employment: we estimate that wage gains at job changes account for at least a third of early-career wage growth, and that the wage is the key determinant of job changing decisions among young workers. We conclude that the process of job changing for young workers, while apparently haphazard, is a critical component of workers' move toward the stable employment relations that characterize mature careers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2649.

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Date of creation: Jul 1988
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Publication status: published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 107 (May 1992): 441-79.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2649

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  1. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
  3. Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1986. "Job Duration, Seniority and Earnings," Working papers 407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1978. "Wage Growth and Job Turnover: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 0285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
  7. Elbers, Chris & Ridder, Geert, 1982. "True and Spurious Duration Dependence: The Identifiability of the Proportional Hazard Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 403-09, July.
  8. Joseph G. Altonji & Robert A. Shakotko, 1985. "Do Wages Rise With Job Seniority?," NBER Working Papers 1616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1979. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Working Papers 0357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-22, February.
  11. Akerlof, George A & Main, Brian G M, 1981. "An Experience-Weighted Measure of Employment and Unemployment Durations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1003-11, December.
  12. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  13. 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.
  14. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S65-97, October.
  15. Antel, John J, 1985. "Costly Employment Contract Renogotiation and the Labor Mobility of Young Men," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 976-91, December.
  16. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
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  1. Au mauvais endroit au mauvais moment? Le devenir des primo-entrants sur un marché du travail en crise
    by arthur.heim@education.gouv.fr (Arthur Heim) in BS Initiative on 2014-06-17 08:09:18
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