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Education and Unemployment

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  • Jacob Mincer
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    Abstract

    A major benefit of education is the lower risk of unemployment at higher educational levels. In PSID (Panel Study of Income Dynamics) data on the male labor force1 the reduction of the incidence of unemployment is found to be far more important than the reduced duration of unemployment in creating the educational differentials in unemployment rates. In turn, the lesser unemployment incidence of the more educated workers is, in about equal measure, due to their greater attachment to the firms employing them, and to the lesser risk of becoming unemployed when separated from the firm. The lesser frequency of job turnover of more educated workers, which creates fewer episodes of unemployment, is in large part attributable to more on-the-job training. In explaining the lesser conditional unemployment of educated workers and the somewhat shorter duration of their unemployment, indirect evidence is provided that (1) costs of on-the-job search for new employment relative to costs of searching while unemployed are lower for more educated workers; (2) that these workers are also more efficient in acquiring and processing job search information; and (3) that firms and workers search more intensively to fill more skilled vacancies.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3838.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3838.

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    Date of creation: Sep 1991
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    Publication status: published as Studies in Human Capital, Elgar Publishers, 1993
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3838

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    1. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," NBER Working Papers 0979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jacob Mincer, 1986. "Wage Changes in Job Changes," NBER Working Papers 1907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Axel Borsch-Supan, 1987. "The Role of Education: Mobility Increasing or Mobility Impeding?," NBER Working Papers 2329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mortensen, Dale T., 1987. "Job search and labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 849-919 Elsevier.
    5. John M. Barron & Wesley Mellow, 1979. "Search Effort in the Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 389-404.
    6. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
    7. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1989. "Job Matching and On-the-Job Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
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