IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of Labor Market Changes from the Early 1970s to the Late 1980s on Youth Wage, Earnings, and Household Economic Position


  • R. Haveman
  • B. Knight


While overall employment in the United States has risen in the last 30 years, the employment and earnings prospects for youths have fallen relative to those for older workers. This deterioration in youth labor market conditions has been most pronounced for low-skilled youths, high school dropouts, and those with low IQs. Using data from national longitudinal studies of young men, young women, and youths, this paper examines a number of aspects of the labor market outcomes of youths entering the labor market at two different times. The first group entered the robust labor market of the late 1960s, while the second group entered the deteriorated labor market of the mid-1980s. Consistent with previous research, this paper finds an improvement over the two periods in levels of employment and earnings for high-skilled youths, with a corresponding deterioration for lower-skilled youths. The paper presents a unique analysis of the growth trajectories of earnings and employment for high- and low-skilled youths in the two cohorts. We find substantial within-cohort growth for high-skilled youths in both cohorts (as well an improvement in household economic circumstances), with a corresponding deterioration in earnings, employment, and household economic circumstances for lower-skilled youths, especially those in the later cohort.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Haveman & B. Knight, "undated". "The Effect of Labor Market Changes from the Early 1970s to the Late 1980s on Youth Wage, Earnings, and Household Economic Position," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1174-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1174-98

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Adapting to Circumstances (The Evolution of Work, School,and Living Arrangements among North American Youth)," NBER Chapters,in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 171-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. McKinley L. Blackburn & David E. Bloom & Richard B. Freeman, 1989. "The Declining Economic Position of Less-Skilled American Males," NBER Working Papers 3186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 1990. "Employment and Earnings of Disadvantaged Young Men in a Labor Shortage Economy," NBER Working Papers 3444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:fth:prinin:386 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Adapting to Circumstances: The Evolution of Work, School, and Living Arrangements Among North American Youth," Working Papers 765, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1174-98. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.