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Early Life Circumstances and Life Cycle Labor Market Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Manuel Flores

    (OECD, France)

  • Pilar Garcia-Gomez

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Adriaan Kalwij

    (Utrecht University, the Netherlands)

Abstract

We investigate how early life circumstances—childhood health and socioeconomic status (SES)—are associated with labor market outcomes over an individual’s entire life cycle. A life cycle approach provides insights not only into which labor market outcomes are associated with adverse childhood events but also into whether these associations show up early or only later in working life, and whether they vanish or persist over the life cycle. The analysis is conducted using the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, which contains retrospective information on early life circumstances and full work histories for over 20,000 individuals in thirteen European countries. We find that the associations between early life circumstances and (accumulated) labor market outcomes vary over an individual’s life cycle. For men and women, the effect of childhood SES on lifetime earnings accumulates over the life cycle through the associations with both working years and annual earnings. Moreover, for men this association with lifetime earnings reverses sign from negative to positive over their working life. We also find a smaller, positive long-term association between childhood health and lifetime earnings operating mainly through annual earnings and only to a lesser extent through working years, and which is not present at the beginning of the working life for women. Most of these life cycle profiles differ between European country-groups. Finally, for women we find a so-called buffering effect, i.e. that a higher parental SES reduces the negative impact of poor health during childhood on accumulated earnings over the life cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Flores & Pilar Garcia-Gomez & Adriaan Kalwij, 2015. "Early Life Circumstances and Life Cycle Labor Market Outcomes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-094/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20150094
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cavapozzi, Danilo & Garrouste, Christelle & Paccagnella, Omar, 2010. "Childhood, Schooling and Income Inequality," MPRA Paper 28729, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Alessie, Rob & Angelini, Viola & van Santen, Peter, 2013. "Pension wealth and household savings in Europe: Evidence from SHARELIFE," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 308-328.
    3. Alessie, R.J.M. & Angelini, V. & van Santen, P.C., 2012. "Pension wealth and household savings in Europe," Research Report 12012-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
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    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:136:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1533-9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early life circumstances; lifetime earnings; life cycle; SHARE;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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