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Earnings Losses after Non-Employment Increase with Age

  • Thomas Zwick

This paper shows that after older workers experience periods of non-employment, earnings losses increase. Before non-employment, older employees have relatively higher earnings compared to younger employees without employment interruptions. This earnings advantage turns into a strong earnings disadvantage shortly before, and for a long time after, unemployment. Younger people who lose their jobs have a relatively stable, small earnings disadvantage before non-employment and quickly earn more than those without employment interruptions. The earnings effect of returning to the same employer after non-employment suggests that more involuntary work interruptions for older employees better explains the results than the loss of an implicit contract or specific human capital.

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Article provided by LMU Munich School of Management in its journal Schmalenbach Business Review.

Volume (Year): 64 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 2-19

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Handle: RePEc:sbr:abstra:v:64:y:2012:i:1:p:2-19
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  1. Margolis, D.N., 2000. "Worker Displacement in France," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 2000.03, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  2. Guido Schwerdt, 2007. "Labor Turnover before Plant Closure:'Leaving the sinking ship' vs. 'Captain throwing ballast overboard'," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/22, European University Institute.
  3. Richard Disney, 1996. "Can We Afford to Grow Older?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026204157x, June.
  4. Anabela Carneiro & Pedro Portugal, 2006. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers: Evidence from a Matched Employer-employee Data Set," CEF.UP Working Papers 0607, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  5. Burda, Michael C. & Mertens, Antje, 2001. "Estimating wage losses of displaced workers in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 15-41, January.
  6. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Zwick, Thomas, 2008. "The Employment Consequences of Seniority Wages," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-039, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Gartner, Hermann, 2005. "The imputation of wages above the contribution limit with the German IAB employment sample," FDZ Methodenreport 200502_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  10. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2001. "Job Loss and Employment Patterns of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 484-521, April.
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