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The Difficult School-to-Work Transition of High School Dropouts: Evidence from a Field Experiment


  • Pierre Cahuc
  • Stéphane Carcillo
  • Andreea Minea


We investigate the effects of the labor market experience of high school dropouts four years after leaving school by sending fictitious résumés to real job postings in France. Compared to those who have stayed unemployed since leaving school, the callback rate is not raised for those with employment experience, whether it is subsidized or nonsubsidized, if there is no training accompanied by skill certification. We find no stigma effect associated with subsidized work experience. Moreover, training accompanied by skill certification improves youth prospects only when the local unemployment rate is sufficiently low, which occurs in one-fifth of the commuting zones only.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Cahuc & Stéphane Carcillo & Andreea Minea, 2021. "The Difficult School-to-Work Transition of High School Dropouts: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(1), pages 159-183.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:56:y:2021:i:1:p:159-183
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.56.1.0617-8894R2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Difficult School-to-Work Transition of High School Dropouts: Evidence from a field experiment
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-08-11 17:47:41
    2. The Difficult School-To-Work Transition of High School Dropouts: Evidence from a Field Experiment
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-04-09 18:36:06


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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Albanese & Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe, 2022. "Long-Term Effects of Hiring Subsidies for Unemployed Youths—Beware of Spillovers," CESifo Working Paper Series 9972, CESifo.
    2. Emmanuel Duguet & Rémi Le Gall & Yannick L’Horty & Pascale Petit, 2018. "How does labour market history influence the access to hiring interviews?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 39(4), pages 519-533, July.
    3. Van Belle, Eva & Caers, Ralf & De Couck, Marijke & Di Stasio, Valentina & Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Why Is Unemployment Duration a Sorting Criterion in Hiring?," IZA Discussion Papers 10876, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Thomas Le Barbanchon & Diego Ubfal & Federico Araya, 2023. "The Effects of Working While in School: Evidence from Employment Lotteries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 383-410, January.
    5. Adermon, Adrian & Hensvik, Lena, 2022. "Gig-jobs: Stepping stones or dead ends?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    6. Albanese, Andrea & Cockx, B. & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2023. "Long-Term Effects of Hiring Subsidies for Low-Educated Unemployed Youths," Research Memorandum 008, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    7. Natalie Obergruber, 2018. "Microeconometric Analysis of Individual and Institutional Determinants of Education and Occupational Choice," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 80.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General


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