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Gender and Youth Employment Outcomes: The US and West Germany, 1984-91

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn

Abstract

This paper examines gender differences in labor market outcomes for hard-to-employ youth in the US and West Germany during the 1984-91 period. We find that young, less educated American men and especially women are far less likely to be employed than their German counterparts. Moreover, less educated young women and men in the United States have lower earnings relative to more highly educated youth in their own country, and also fare much worse than less educated German youth in absolute terms, correcting for purchasing power. The relatively high employment rates of less educated German youth combined with their relatively high wages raise the question of how they are successfully absorbed into the labor market. We present evidence that the large public sector in Germany in effect functions as an employer of last resort, absorbing some otherwise unemployable low skilled youth. Our findings also suggest that the US welfare system accounts for very little of the US-German difference in employment rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1997. "Gender and Youth Employment Outcomes: The US and West Germany, 1984-91," NBER Working Papers 6078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6078
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6078.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-392, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "Observations and Conjectures on the U.S. Employment Miracle," Working Papers 769, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Niall O'Higgins, 2005. "The Challenge of Youth Unemployment," Labor and Demography 0507003, EconWPA.
    3. Lawrence Kahn, 2003. "Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment in OECD Countries," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 1(4), pages 25-32, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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