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The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment

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  • Kim B. Clark
  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

This paper analyzes the dynamics of youth unemployment. Three broad conclusions emerge. First, the problem of youth joblessness extends beyond the unemployed. We find that over one-half of youth unemployment spells end in labor force withdrawal. Much of youth non-employment is not picked up in the official unemployment statistics, because many young people give up the search for work and leave the labor force. Second, a large part of youth unemployment is accounted for by a relatively small, hard core group of young people who experience long spells of unemployment. While most unemployment spells are short, this is due to the high rates of labor force withdrawal, rather than to job finding. Among male teenagers out of school, for example, we find that over half of unemployment was due to those with more than six months of unemployment in the year. Third, a shortage of attractive jobs is the principle source of long term non-employment. While instability and frequent turnover are major factors in determining the overall pattern of teenage unemployment, we find that the lack of desirable employment opportunities is the crux of the problem for those most seriously affected by youth unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1978. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0274 Note: LS
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    1. Boskin, Michael J. & Hurd, Michael D., 1978. "The effect of social security on early retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 361-377, December.
    2. Boskin, Michael J, 1977. "Social Security and Retirement Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(1), pages 1-25, January.
    3. Campbell, Colin D & Campbell, Rosemary G, 1976. "Conflicting Views on the Effect of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance on Retirement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 369-388, September.
    4. Reuben Gronau, 1974. "The Effect of Children on the Housewife's Value of Time," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 457-490 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-694, July.
    6. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
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