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High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience

In: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences

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  • Robert H. Meyer
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

The relationship between high school training and work experience on the one hand and early labor force experience on the other are analyzed in the paper. In addition, the extent and nature of the persistence of early labor force experience is evaluated. The study is based on data for male youths from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. While there appears to be no relationship between job-related training in high school and post-graduation weeks worked or wage rates, there is a strong relationship between hours worked while in high school and both weeks worked and wage rates in the first four years after graduation. High school class rank and test scores also are positively related to early weeks worked and wage rates in the labor force. It is also found that after controlling for individual specific characteristics of youth, there is little relationship between weeks worked in the first year after high school graduation and weeks worked four years later. And there is almost no relationship between initial wage rates and wage rates four years later, other than those attributable to measured and unmeasured individual specific characteristics. There is little persistence of early experience that cannot be attributed to heterogeneity among youth. There is, however, an effect of early work experience on later wage rates, although it is of modest magnitude in this sample of high school graduates.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1982. "High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience," NBER Chapters,in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 277-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7877
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 74-103, Part II, .
    2. Wise, David A, 1975. "Academic Achievement and Job Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 350-366, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. H. J. Holzer, "undated". "Employer Demand, AFDC Recipients, and Labor Market Policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1115-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Had Phillips & Harold Votey, 1987. "Rational choice models of crimes by youth," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 129-187, June.
    3. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & John H. Tyler, 2000. "Who Benefits from Obtaining a GED? Evidence from High School and Beyond," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 23-37, February.
    4. Molitor, Christopher J. & Leigh, Duane E., 2005. "In-school work experience and the returns to two-year and four-year colleges," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 459-468, August.
    5. David T. Ellwood, 1979. "Teenage Unemployment: Permanent Scars or Temporary Blemishes?," NBER Working Papers 0399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Franz Buscha & Arnaud Maurel & Lionel Page & Stefan Speckesser, 2007. "The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment : A Conditional Difference-in-Differences Approach," Working Papers 2007-40, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    8. V. Joseph Hotz & Lixin Colin Xu & Marta Tienda & Avner Ahituv, 2002. "Are There Returns To The Wages Of Young Men From Working While In School?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 221-236, May.
    9. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1997. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 735-776, October.
    10. H. J. Holzer, "undated". "Employer hiring decisions and antidiscrimination policy," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1085-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    11. Bacolod, Marigee & Joseph Hotz, V., 2006. "Cohort changes in the transition from school to work: Evidence from three NLS surveys," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 351-373, August.
    12. Marigee Bacolod & V. Joseph Hotz, 2005. "Cohort Changes in the Transition from School to Work: What Changed and What Consequences Did it have for Wages?," Working Papers 050618, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    13. Baril, Robert & Robidoux, Benoît & Lemelin, Clément, 1987. "La demande d’éducation des jeunes québécois," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 63(1), pages 5-25, mars.
    14. Shadle, Kyrstin, 2014. "The Effects of Skill Acquisition in Youth Jobs on Future Work and Earnings," ISU General Staff Papers 201401010800005034, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    15. Rokicka, Magdalena, 2014. "The impact of students' part-time work on educational outcomes," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-42, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    16. Light, Audrey, 1999. "High school employment, high school curriculum, and post-school wages," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-309, June.
    17. 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.

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