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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

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Graduating High School in a Recession: Work, Education, and Home Production

Brad J. Hershbein1

1University of Michigan - Ann Arbor,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 12, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.1515/1935-1682.2599, January 2012

Publication History

Published Online:
2012-01-31

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Abstract

This paper explores how high school graduate men and women vary in their behavioral responses to beginning labor market entry during a recession. In contrast with previous related literature that found a substantial negative wage impact but minimal employment impact in samples of highly educated men, the empirical evidence presented here suggests a different outcome for the less well educated, and between the sexes. Women, but not men, who graduate high school in an adverse labor market are less likely to be in the workforce for the next four years, but longer-term effects are minimal. Further, while men increase their enrollment as a short-run response to weak labor demand, women do not; instead, they appear temporarily to substitute into home production. Women's wages are less affected than men's, and both groups' wages are less affected than the college graduates previously studied.

Keywords: recession; labor supply; college enrollment; high school graduates; home production

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