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The Changing Benefits of Early Work Experience

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  • Charles L. Baum
  • Christopher J. Ruhm

Abstract

We examine whether the benefits of high school work experience have changed over the last 20 years by comparing effects for the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Our main specifications suggest that the future wage benefits of working 20 hours per week in the senior year of high school have fallen from 8.3 percent for the earlier cohort, measured in 1987-1989, to 4.4 percent for the later one, in 2008-2010. Moreover, the gains of work are largely restricted to women and have diminished over time for them. We are able to explain about five-eighths of the differential between cohorts, with most of this being attributed to the way that high school employment is related to subsequent adult work experience and occupational attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles L. Baum & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2014. "The Changing Benefits of Early Work Experience," NBER Working Papers 20413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20413
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomasz Zgrzywa & Joanna Tyrowicz & Stanisław Cichocki, 2017. "Czynniki wpływające na czas poszukiwania pierwszego zatrudnienia," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 6, pages 31-56.
    2. David E. Frisvold & Melinda Pitts, 2018. "State Merit Aid Programs and Youth Labor Market Attachment," NBER Working Papers 24662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Meier, Benjamin & Shadle, Kyrstin & Kreider, Brent E. & Orazem, Peter F, 2018. "Minimum Wages and Occupational Skills Acquired During High School," ISU General Staff Papers 201802260800001037, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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