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Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data


  • Albrecht, James W.
  • Edin, Per-Anders
  • Sundström, Marianne
  • Vroman, Susan B.


This paper reexamines the link between career interruptions and subsequent wages. Using a rich new Swedish dataset, we are able to disaggregate time out of work into several components. Regressing log wages on aggregate total time out leads to the standard result, i.e., a negative coefficient on time out. However, we find that different types of time out have different effects on wages and that these effects vary by gender. This casts doubt on the usual human capital depreciation interpretation that has been placed on the negative coefficient of total time out in the wage equation. We propose a simple signaling model as an alternative interpretation.

Suggested Citation

  • Albrecht, James W. & Edin, Per-Anders & Sundström, Marianne & Vroman, Susan B., 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Working Paper Series 1996:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1996_023

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-666, September.
    3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-660, June.
    4. Alun H. Thomas, 1997. "Is the Exchange Rate a Shock Absorber? the Case of Sweden," IMF Working Papers 97/176, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Friberg, Richard & Vredin, Anders, 1996. "Exchange Rate Uncertainty and the Microeconomic Benefits of EMU," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 127, Stockholm School of Economics.
    6. Genberg, Hans, 1989. " Exchange Rate Management and Macroeconomic Policy: A National Perspective," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 439-469.
    7. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1999. "Aggregate investment," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 813-862 Elsevier.
    8. Goldstein, Morris & Khan, Mohsin S., 1985. "Income and price effects in foreign trade," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1041-1105 Elsevier.
    9. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-720, September.
    10. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-659, September.
    11. Arrow, Kenneth J & Lind, Robert C, 1970. "Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 364-378, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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