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Local market scale and the pattern of job changes among young men

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  • Wheeler, Christopher H.

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 metro areas), 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 urban areas play an important role in the job matching process.

Suggested Citation

  • Wheeler, Christopher H., 2008. "Local market scale and the pattern of job changes among young men," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 101-118, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:38:y:2008:i:2:p:101-118
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    Cited by:

    1. Bleakley, Hoyt & Lin, Jeffrey, 2012. "Thick-market effects and churning in the labor market: Evidence from US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 87-103.
    2. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent, 2015. "The Empirics of Agglomeration Economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    3. 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).
    4. Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2016. "Benefits of dense labour markets - Evidence from transitions to employment in Germany," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145715, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Jordi Jofre-Monseny & Raquel Marín-López & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2014. "The Determinants Of Localization And Urbanization Economies: Evidence From The Location Of New Firms In Spain," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 313-337, March.
    6. Moretti, Enrico, 2011. "Local Labor Markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    7. Andini, Monica & de Blasio, Guido & Duranton, Gilles & Strange, William C., 2013. "Marshallian labour market pooling: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1008-1022.
    8. Abel, Jaison R. & Deitz, Richard, 2015. "Agglomeration and job matching among college graduates," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 14-24.
    9. Peters, Jan Cornelius, 2016. "Quantifying the effect of labor market size on learning externalities," Economics Working Papers 2016-11, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    10. 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.
    11. Torfs, Wouter & Zhao, Liqiu, 2015. "Everybody needs good neighbors? Labor mobility costs, cities and matching," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 39-54.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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