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Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?

  • Ruhm, Christopher J

This study examines how high school employment affects future economic attainment. There is no indication that light to moderate job commitments ever have a detrimental effect; instead, hours worked during the senior grade are positively correlated with future earnings, fringe benefits, and occupational status. These gains occur even though employed seniors attain slightly less education than their counterparts. The results are robust across a variety of specifications and suggest that student employment increases net investments in human capital particularly toward the end of high school and for females. Copyright 1997 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 735-76

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:15:y:1997:i:4:p:735-76
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. 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.
  2. Weiss, Andrew, 1988. "High School Graduation, Performance, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 785-820, August.
  3. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  4. Michael, Robert T & Tuma, Nancy Brandon, 1984. "Youth Employment: Does Life Begin at 16?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 464-76, October.
  5. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1982. "Why Does the Rate of Youth Labor Force Activity Differ across Surveys?," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 75-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. K. Newey, Whitney, 1985. "Generalized method of moments specification testing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 229-256, September.
  7. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1985. "Employment While in College, Academic Achievement and Post-College Outcomes: A Summary of Results," NBER Working Papers 1742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David T. Ellwood, 1982. "Teenage Unemployment: Permanent Scars or Temporary Blemishes?," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 349-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Duncan, Greg J & Hill, Daniel H, 1985. "An Investigation of the Extent and Consequences of Measurement Error in Labor-Economic Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 508-32, October.
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