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Wages, Hours, and the School-to-Work Transition: The Consequences of Leaving School in a Recession for Less-Educated Men

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  • Speer Jamin D.

    (Department of Economics, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, 3675 Central Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38152, USA)

Abstract

Using the NLSY’s weekly work history data to precisely measure labor market outcomes and the school-to-work transition, I document severe but short-lived effects of leaving school in a recession for men with 9–12 years of education. I find significant effects of entry labor market conditions on wages, job quality, and the transition time from school to work. In contrast to published evidence on more educated workers, I also find large effects on work hours on both the extensive and the intensive margins. When workers leave high school in a recession, they take substantially longer to find a job, earn lower wages, and work fewer full-time weeks and more part-time weeks. A 4-point rise in the initial unemployment rate leads to an increase in the school-to-work transition time of 9 weeks, a 16% decline in year-one average wage, a 28% fall in hours worked in the first year, and a 45% decline in first-year earnings. However, effects of entry conditions are not persistent and are largely gone after the first year.

Suggested Citation

  • Speer Jamin D., 2016. "Wages, Hours, and the School-to-Work Transition: The Consequences of Leaving School in a Recession for Less-Educated Men," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 97-124, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:16:y:2016:i:1:p:97-124:n:13
    DOI: 10.1515/bejeap-2015-0054
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Female Labor Supply, Human Capital, and Welfare Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1705-1753, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berge, Wiljan van den, 2018. "Bad start, bad match? The early career effects of graduating in a recession for vocational and academic graduates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 75-96.
    2. Bryan A. Stuart, 2022. "The Long-Run Effects of Recessions on Education and Income," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 42-74, January.
    3. Cockx, Bart & Ghirelli, Corinna, 2016. "Scars of recessions in a rigid labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 162-176.
    4. Jeff Borland, 2020. "Scarring effects: A review of Australian and international literature," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 23(2), pages 173-187.
    5. Mattias Engdahl & Mathilde Godard & Oskar N Skans, 2018. "Early Labor Market Prospects and Family Formation," Working Papers halshs-01958437, HAL.
    6. Regan, Mark, 2020. "Wage scarring among unlucky European cohorts," Papers WP668, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Schwandt, Hannes & Wachter, Till von, 2018. "Unlucky Cohorts: Estimating the Long-term Effects of Entering the Labor Market in a Recession in Large Cross-sectional Data Sets," IZA Discussion Papers 11926, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Fraser Summerfield & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2017. "The Effects Of Macroeconomic Conditions At Graduation On Overeducation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1370-1387, July.
    9. Bart Cockx, 2016. "Do youths graduating in a recession incur permanent losses?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 281-281, August.
    10. Hannes Schwandt & Till von Wachter, 2016. "Unlucky Cohorts: Estimating the Long-Term Effects of Entering the Labor Market in a Recession in Large Cross-Sectional Data Sets," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Labor Markets, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Engdahl, Mattias & Godard, Mathilde & Skans, Oskar N., 2019. "Entrer sur le marché du travail en période de récession : quels effets sur le parcours familial ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1903, CEPREMAP.
    12. Johan Hombert & Adrien Matray, 2019. "Technology Boom, Labor Reallocation, and Human Capital Depreciation," Working Papers 260, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    13. Schwandt, Hannes & von Wachter, Till, 2018. "Unlucky Cohorts: Estimating the Long-term Effects of Entering the Labor Market in a Recession in Large Cross-sectional Data Sets," CEPR Discussion Papers 13222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Maclean Johanna Catherine & Hill Terrence D., 2017. "Economic Conditions at School Leaving and Sleep Patterns Across the Life Course," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 1-37, April.
    15. Gianni De Fraja & Sara Lemos & James Rockey, 2021. "The Wounds That Do Not Heal: The Lifetime Scar of Youth Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 88(352), pages 896-941, October.
    16. Johan Hombert & Adrien Matray, 2019. "The Long-Term Consequences of the Tech Bubble on Skilled Workers' Earnings," Working Papers 255, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    17. Mask Joshua, 2020. "Consequences of immigrating during a recession: Evidence from the US Refugee Resettlement program," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, January.
    18. Illing, Hannah & Koch, Theresa, 2021. "Who Suffers the Greatest Loss? Costs of Job Displacement for Migrants and Natives," IAB-Discussion Paper 202108, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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