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Mixed Signals: to what extent does male wage scarring vary with the characteristics of the local labour market in which unemployment was experienced?

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  • Philip Ball

Abstract

I test the hypothesis that unemployment experienced in high unemployment regions is less likely to be viewed by employers as a negative productivity signal, and more as a characteristic of the region. This predicts that unemployment's short-run negative wage effects will be mitigated if experienced in high unemployment regions. If so, then what long-term implications does this have for future wage growth (Wage Scarring)? How important is regional heterogeneity in driving wage outcomes? Continuous work-life histories are matched to the regional context in which individuals reside. This novel data set permits control for the timing of career disruptions, as well as regional location at the time of displacement, whilst searching and at re-employment. Persistent wage penalties are found, conditional on previous labour market status. Seminal UK research concludes that the first spell of non-employment carries the highest penalty. Considering unemployment and inactivity, no reduction in the penalty associated with incidence of inactivity is found. Strong regional differences are found in the impact of redundancy on wage growth. This is contingent on labour market tight-ness and urbanity of the region in which unemployment was experienced. Redundancy followed by unemployment in areas of high economic activity is equally damaging for future earnings potential, independent of age. Moreover, robust evidence is found supporting the main hypothesis in the UK, on average and for over 45s made redundant in their previous jobs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Nottingham, School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 11/13.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notecp:11/13

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Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
Phone: (44) 0115 951 5620
Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/
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Related research

Keywords: job displacement; wage scarring; regional heterogeneity; work-life histories;

References

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  1. Kenneth A. Couch & Dana W. Placzek, 2010. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 572-89, March.
  2. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  3. Philip Ball & Ralf Wilke, . "Job seeker's allowance in Great Britain: How does the regional labour market affect the duration until job finding?," Discussion Papers 09/03, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  4. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Mark B. Stewart, 2007. "The interrelated dynamics of unemployment and low-wage employment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 511-531.
  6. Addison, John T & Portugal, Pedro, 1989. "Job Displacement, Relative Wage Changes, and Duration of Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(3), pages 281-302, July.
  7. Alexander Hijzen & Richard Upward & Peter W. Wright, 2010. "The Income Losses of Displaced Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  8. Coulson, N. Edward & Fisher, Lynn M., 2009. "Housing tenure and labor market impacts: The search goes on," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 252-264, May.
  9. Philip Ball, . "Construction of a linked postcode district to regional-level dataset for Great Britain," Discussion Papers 09/09, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  11. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  12. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
  13. Houle, Mario & Van Audenrode, Marc, 1995. "Job displacement, wages, and unemployment duration in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 77-91, March.
  14. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2006. "Lasting or Latent Scars? Swedish Evidence on the Long-Term Effects of Job Displacement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 831-856, October.
  15. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  16. repec:iza:izadps:dp509 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Gregory, Mary & Jukes, Robert, 2001. "Unemployment and Subsequent Earnings: Estimating Scarring among British Men 1984-94," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F607-25, November.
  18. Lippman, Steven A. & McCall, John J., 1976. "Job search in a dynamic economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 365-390, June.
  19. Lori G. Kletzer & Robert W. Fairlie, 2003. "The long-term costs of job displacement for young adult workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 682-698, July.
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