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Black Youth Nonemployment: Duration and Job Search

In: The Black Youth Employment Crisis


  • Harry J. Holzer


This paper analyzes reservation wages and durations of nonemployment for young blacks and whites. Selfreported reservation wages are compared for blacks and whites before and after controlling for indicators of labor demand such as received wages, weeks worked, or other personal characterlstics. The effects of these reservation wages on durations of nonemployment as well as on subsequent wages are analyzed as well.The results show that young blacks seek jobs and wages which are comparable to those of young whites, but which are higher relative to what young blacks obtain. On the other hand, young blacks appear at least if not more likely to take specific low-skill jobs, albeit teporariiy. These reservation wages appear to have positive effects on nonemployment durations and subsequent wages for both groups, and explain up to a third of the higher nonemployment durations of young blacks.
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Suggested Citation

  • Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Black Youth Nonemployment: Duration and Job Search," NBER Chapters,in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 23-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6282

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1979. "An Empirical Job-Search Model, with a Test of the Constant Reservation-Wage Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 89-107, February.
    2. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Chapters,in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 199-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stephen T. Marston, 1976. "Employment Instability and High Unemployment Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(1), pages 169-210.
    4. Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "Why is There A Youth Labor Market Problem?," NBER Working Papers 0365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-368, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harry J. Holzer, 1984. "On the Rationality of Black Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. H. J. Holzer & R. J. LaLonde, "undated". "Job Change and Job Stability among Less-Skilled Young Workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1191-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. M. Badgett, 1994. "Rising black unemployment: Changes in job stability or in employability?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 55-75, March.
    4. Harry J. Holzer, 1994. "Black employment problems: New evidence, old questions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 699-722.
    5. Harry J. Holzer & Paul Offner & Elaine Sorensen, 2005. "Declining employment among young black less-educated men: The role of incarceration and child support," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 329-350.

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