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The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market

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  • Robert Shimer

Abstract

An increase in the share of youth in the working age population of one state or region relative to the rest of the United States causes a sharp reduction in that state's relative unemployment rate and a modest increase in its labor force participation rate. This is inconsistent with many theories of the labor market, but can be easily explained by a model of frictional unemployment with on-the-job search. The theory makes strong predictions regarding the behavior of wages which are shown to be consistent with the data. The paper also reconciles its findings with an existing body of apparently contradictory empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:3:p:969-1007.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/00335530152466287
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, November.
    2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    3. Steven J. Davis & Prakash Lougani & Ramamohan Mahidhara, 1997. "Regional Labor Fluctuations: Oil Shocks, Military Spending, and Other Driving Forces," JCPR Working Papers 4, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    4. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    5. George L. Perry, 1970. "Changing Labor Markets and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 411-448.
    6. Kenneth Burdett & Dale T. Mortensen, 1989. "Equilibrium Wage Differentials and Employer Size," Discussion Papers 860, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    7. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 2000. "Cohort Crowding and Youth Labor Markets (A Cross-National Analysis)," NBER Chapters,in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 57-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
    9. Robert J. Gordon, 1981. "Inflation, Flexible Exchange Rates, and the Natural Rate of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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