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What Should I Be When I Grow Up? Occupations and Unemployment over the Life Cycle

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  • Martin Gervais
  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Henry E. Siu
  • Yaniv Yedid-Levi

Abstract

Why is unemployment higher for younger individuals? We address this question in a frictional model of the labor market that features learning about occupational fit. In order to learn the occupation in which they are most productive, workers sample occupations over their careers. Because young workers are more likely to be in matches that represent a poor occupational fit, they spend more time in transition between occupations. Through this mechanism, our model can replicate the observed age differences in unemployment which, as in the data, are due to differences in job separation rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gervais & Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu & Yaniv Yedid-Levi, 2014. "What Should I Be When I Grow Up? Occupations and Unemployment over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 20628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20628
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ludo Visschers & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2011. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1101, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Blattman, Christopher & Dercon, Stefan, 2016. "Occupational choice in early industrializing societies: Experimental evidence on the income and health effects of industrial and entrepreneurial work," CEPR Discussion Papers 11556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Guvenen, Fatih & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Tanaka, Satoshi & Wiczer, David, 2015. "Multidimensional Skill Mismatch," Working Papers 2015-22, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Nicolas Ziebarth & Martin Gervais, 2017. "Life after Debt: Post-Graduation Consequences of Federal Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Bosler, Canyon & Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas, 2016. "Job-to-Job Transitions in an Evolving Labor Market," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    6. Arifur Rahman, 2018. "Equitable Redistribution without Taxation: A lesson from East Asian Miracle countries," LIS Working papers 726, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    7. Wilson, Nicholas, 2017. "The World’s Oldest Profession? Employment-Age Profiles from the Transactional Sex Market," GLO Discussion Paper Series 77, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Giuseppe Fiori & Domenico Ferraro, 2016. "Aging of the Baby Boomers: Demographics and Propagation of Tax Shocks," 2016 Meeting Papers 359, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Visschers, Ludo, 2014. "Unemployment and Endogenous Reallocation over the Business Cycle," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-35, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Gabe, Todd M. & Abel, Jaison R. & Florida, Richard, 2018. "Can low-wage workers find better jobs?," Staff Reports 846, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    11. Guido Matias Cortes & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2014. "The Costs of Occupational Mobility: An Aggregate Analysis," Working Papers 2014-015, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    12. Ammar Farooq, 2016. "The U-shape of Over-education? Human Capital Dynamics & Occupational Mobility over the Lifecycle," 2016 Papers pfa484, Job Market Papers.
    13. Fradkin, Andrey & Panier, Frédéric & Tojerow, Ilan, 2015. "Blame the Parents? How Financial Incentives Affect Labor Supply and Job Quality for Young Adults," IZA Discussion Papers 9304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. repec:eee:jetheo:v:174:y:2018:i:c:p:184-223 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Guido Matias Cortes & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2014. "The Costs of Occupational Mobility: An Aggregate Analysis," Working Papers 2014-015, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    16. Carolina Fugazza, 2018. "Anatomy of Unemployment Risk," Working papers 048, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    17. repec:red:issued:16-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Domenico Ferraro, 2018. "The Asymmetric Cyclical Behavior of the U.S. Labor Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 145-162, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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