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Education, Job Search and Re-employment Outcomes among the Unemployed


  • Riddell, W. Craig

    () (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

  • Song, Xueda

    () (York University, Canada)


This study assesses the effects of education on both job search intensity and re-employment success for unemployed workers. Given that the positive correlation between education and job search intensity or re-employment success is likely to be confounded by the endogeneity of education, we make use of data on compulsory schooling laws to create instrumental variables to assess the causal effects of education. Based on data from the Labour Force Survey and the Canadian Census, we find that education both significantly increases job search intensity and significantly improves re-employment success for the unemployed. The evidence on job search intensity provides insights into one potential mechanism through which education may increase the probability of re-employment following unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Riddell, W. Craig & Song, Xueda, 2011. "Education, Job Search and Re-employment Outcomes among the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 6134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6134

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Henry S. Farber, 2005. "What do we know about Job Loss in the United States? Evidence from the Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2004," Working Papers 877, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. W. Craig Riddell, 2005. "Why Is Canada's Unemployment Rate Persistently Higher than in the United States?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(1), pages 93-100, March.
    3. Stephen R. G. Jones & W. Craig Riddell, 2006. "Unemployment and Nonemployment: Heterogeneities in Labor Market States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 314-323, May.
    4. Stephen R. G. Jones & W. Craig Riddell, 1999. "The Measurement of Unemployment: An Empirical Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 147-162, January.
    5. Kevin Milligan & Enrico Moretti & Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K," NBER Working Papers 9584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Education and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 3838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald Bachmann & Daniel Baumgarten, 2013. "How do the unemployed search for a job? – Evidence from the EU Labour Force Survey," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, December.

    More about this item


    education; adaptability; unemployment; job search; causal effects; compulsory schooling laws;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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