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Early Career Experiences and Later Career Outcomes: Comparing the United States, France and Germany


  • David N. Margolis
  • Véronique Simonnet
  • Lars Vilhuber


This paper explores the links between individuals' early career experiences and their labor market outcomes 5 to 20 years later using data from France, (western) Germany, and the United States. Relative to most of the literature, we consider a large set of measures of men's early career experiences and later career outcomes. Our results differ significantly across countries. Labor market outcomes in Germany are consistent with a dual labor market model. In the case of American workers, either the market learns about unobservable worker characteristics over time or the implicit contracts established at the start of the career are increasingly renegotiated over time. Unobserved heterogeneity in individuals' networks of labor market contacts is consistent with our results for France. These results reflect optimal firm responses to the different institutional environments in each country in the presence of ex ante imperfect informationconcerning young workers.

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  • David N. Margolis & Véronique Simonnet & Lars Vilhuber, 2001. "Early Career Experiences and Later Career Outcomes: Comparing the United States, France and Germany," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 31-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:70-10-5
    DOI: 10.3790/vjh.70.1.31

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    Cited by:

    1. Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2003. "Do Business Cycle Conditions at the Time of Labour Market Entry Affect Future Unemployment?," Memorandum 12/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Arnaud Chevalier & Joanne Lindley, 2009. "Overeducation and the skills of UK graduates," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 307-337, April.

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