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Local Market Scale and the Pattern of Job Changes Among Young Men

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  • Christopher H. Wheeler

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

In finding a career, workers tend to make numerous job changes, with the majority of "complex" changes (i.e. those involving changes of industry) occurring relatively early in their working lives. This pattern suggests that workers tend to experiment with different types of work before settling on the one they like best. Of course, since the extent of economic diversity differs substantially across local labor markets in the U.S. (e.g. counties and cities), this career search process may exhibit important differences depending on the size of a worker's local market. This paper explores this issue using a sample of young male workers drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort. The results uncover two rather striking patterns. First, the likelihood that a worker changes industries rises with the size and diversity of his local labor market when considering the first job change he makes. Second, however, this association gradually decreases as a worker makes greater numbers of job changes. By the time he makes his fourth change, the likelihood of changing industries significantly decreases with the scale and diversity of the local market. Both results are consistent with the idea that cities play an important role in the job matching process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 06-131.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:06-131

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Keywords: Job Search; Labor Market Matching; Agglomeration;

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  1. Derek Neal, 1998. "The Complexity of Job Mobility Among Young Men," NBER Working Papers 6662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Christopher H. Wheeler, 2005. "Cities and the growth of wages among young workers: evidence from the NLSY," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 2005-055, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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  9. Alperovich Gershon, 1993. "City Size and the Rate and Duration of Unemployment: Evidence from Israeli Data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 347-357, November.
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  14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  15. Qinghua Zhang & Li Gan, 2004. "The thick market effect of local unemployment rate fluctuation," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 179, Econometric Society.
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  19. Peri, Giovanni, 2002. "Young workers, learning, and agglomerations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 582-607, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel F. Heuermann, 2009. "Career Networks and Job Matching - Evidence on the Microeconomic Foundations of Human Capital Externalities," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 200901, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  2. Andini, Monica & de Blasio, Guido & Duranton, Gilles & Strange, William C., 2013. "Marshallian labour market pooling: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1008-1022.
  3. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2007. "Thick-market effects and churning in the labor market: evidence from U.S. cities," Working Papers 07-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Freedman, Matthew L., 2008. "Job hopping, earnings dynamics, and industrial agglomeration in the software publishing industry," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 590-600, November.
  5. Enrico Moretti, 2010. "Local Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 15947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jaison R. Abel & Richard Deitz, 2012. "Agglomeration and job matching among college graduates," Staff Reports, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 587, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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