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The Long-Term Effects of Youth Unemployment

  • Thomas A. Mroz
  • Timothy H. Savage

Using NLSY data, we examine the long-term effects of youth unemployment on later labor market outcomes. Involuntary unemployment may yield suboptimal investments in human capital in the short run. A theoretical model of dynamic human capital investment predicts a rational “catch-up” response. Using semiparametric techniques to control for the endogeneity of prior behavior, our estimates provide strong evidence of this response. We also find evidence of persistence in unemployment. Combining our semiparametric estimates with a dynamic approximation to the lifecycle, we find that unemployment experienced as long ago as ten years continues to affect earnings adversely despite the catch-up response.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XLI/2/259
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 41 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:41:y:2006:i:2:p259-293
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-83, August.
  2. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
  3. Robinson, Chris, 1989. "The Joint Determination of Union Status and Union Wage Effects: Some Tests of Alternative Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 639-67, June.
  4. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  5. 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.
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