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Are There Returns To The Wages Of Young Men From Working While In School?

  • V. Joseph Hotz
  • Lixin Colin Xu
  • Marta Tienda
  • Avner Ahituv

This paper examines the effects of work experience acquired while youth were in high school (and college) on young men's wage rates. Previous studies have found sizeable and persistent rates of return to working while enrolled in school, especially high school, on subsequent wage growth. We evaluate the extent to which these estimates represent causal effects by assessing the robustness of prior findings to controls for unobserved heterogeneity and sample selectivity. We explore moregeneral econometric methods for dealing with the dynamic of selection and apply them to data on young men from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). We find that the estimated returns to working while in high school or college are dramatically diminished in magnitude and are not statistically significant when one applies dynamic selection methods. © 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 84 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 221-236

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:84:y:2002:i:2:p:221-236
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  1. Cameron, Stephen V & Heckman, James J, 1993. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-47, January.
  2. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1997. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 735-76, October.
  3. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "The solution and estimation of discrete choice dynamic programming models by simulation and interpolation: Monte Carlo evidence," Staff Report 181, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  7. James J. Heckman, 1989. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods for Estimating the Impact of Social Programs: The Case of Manpower Training," NBER Working Papers 2861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hotz, J.V. & Miller, R.A. & Sanders, S. & Smith, J., 1992. "A Simulation Estimator for Dynamic Models of Discrete Choice," GSIA Working Papers 1992-13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  9. Avner Ahituv & Marta Tienda & Lixin Xu & V. Joseph Hotz, . "Initial Labor Market Experiences of Black, Hispanic and White Men," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 94-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  10. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-94, July.
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  13. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
  14. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1987. "Employment While in College, Academic Achievement, and Postcollege Outcomes: A Summary of Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-23.
  15. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  16. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1989. "The Specification and Estimation of Dynamic Stochastic Discrete Choice Models: A Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 562-598.
  17. Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1979. "High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience," NBER Working Papers 0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lisa M. Lynch, 1986. "The Youth Labor Market in the 80s: Determinants of Re-Employment Probabilities for Young Men and Women," NBER Working Papers 2021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Models for the Analysis of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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