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Good Skills in Bad Times: Cyclical Skill Mismatch and the Long-term Effects of Graduating in a Recession

  • Liu, Kai

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

We show that cyclical skill mismatch, defined as mismatch between the skills supplied by college graduates and skills demanded by hiring industries, is an important mechanism behind persistent career loss from graduating in recessions. Using Norwegian data, we find a strong countercyclical pattern of skill mismatch among college graduates. Initial labor market conditions have a declining but persistent effect on the probability of mismatch early in their careers. We provide a simple model of industry mobility that is consistent with our empirical findings. The initially mismatched graduates are also more vulnerable to business cycle variations at the time of graduation.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 16/2012.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 17 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2012_016
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  1. Kondo, Ayako, 2007. "Does the first job really matter? State dependency in employment status in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 379-402, September.
  2. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
  3. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2013. "Job Selection and Wages over the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 771-803, April.
  4. Beffy, Magali & Fougère, Denis & Maurel, Arnaud, 2009. "Choosing the Field of Study in Post-Secondary Education: Do Expected Earnings Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2011. "Overeducation and Mismatch in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Yuji Genda & Ayako Kondo & Souichi Ohta, 2010. "Long-Term Effects of a Recession at Labor Market Entry in Japan and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
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