Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Jürges, Hendrik

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Ludwig, Sandra / Schmitz, Hendrik

Ed. by Barigozzi, Francesca / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Wenzel, Tobias

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.306
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.492

CiteScore 2017: 0.50

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.414
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.531

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 16, Issue 1


Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Wages, Hours, and the School-to-Work Transition: The Consequences of Leaving School in a Recession for Less-Educated Men

Jamin D. Speer
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Economics, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, 3675 Central Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38152, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-09-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2015-0054


Using the NLSY’s weekly work history data to precisely measure labor market outcomes and the school-to-work transition, I document severe but short-lived effects of leaving school in a recession for men with 9–12 years of education. I find significant effects of entry labor market conditions on wages, job quality, and the transition time from school to work. In contrast to published evidence on more educated workers, I also find large effects on work hours on both the extensive and the intensive margins. When workers leave high school in a recession, they take substantially longer to find a job, earn lower wages, and work fewer full-time weeks and more part-time weeks. A 4-point rise in the initial unemployment rate leads to an increase in the school-to-work transition time of 9 weeks, a 16% decline in year-one average wage, a 28% fall in hours worked in the first year, and a 45% decline in first-year earnings. However, effects of entry conditions are not persistent and are largely gone after the first year.

Keywords: labor market conditions; recessions; labor supply; school-to-work transition


  • Altonji, J. G., L. B. Kahn, and J. D. Speer. 2015. “Cashier or Consultant? Entry Labor Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success.” Journal of Labor Economics. Forthcoming.

  • Blundell, R., M. C. Dias, C. Meghir, and J. Shaw, March 2015. Female Labor Supply, Human Capital and Welfare Reform. Working Paper.

  • Brunner, B., and A. Kuhn. 2014. “The Impact of Labor Market Entry Conditions on Initial Job Assignment and Wages.” Journal of Population Economics 27 (2):705–38.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Devereux, P. J. September 2002. “Occupational Upgrading and the Business Cycle.” Labour 16 (3):423–52.Google Scholar

  • Genda, Y., A. Kondo, and S. Ohta. Winter 2010. “Long-Term Effects of a Recession at Labor Market Entry in Japan and the United States.” Journal of Human Resources 45 (1):157–96.Google Scholar

  • Greenwood, M. J. 1975. “Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey.” Journal of Economic Literature 13 (2):397–433.Google Scholar

  • Greenwood, M. J. 1997. “Internal Migration in Developed Countries.” In Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edited by M. R. Rosenzweig and O. Stark, 647–720. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar

  • Hershbein, B. J. 2012. “Graduating High School in a Recession: Work, Education, and Home Production.” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy 12 (1):1–30.Google Scholar

  • Kahn, L. B. 2008. Job Durations, Match Quality, and the Business Cycle: What We Can Learn from Firm Fixed Effects. Working Paper.

  • Kahn, L. B. April 2010. “The Long-Term Labor Market Consequences of Graduating From College in a Bad Economy.” Labour Economics 17 (2):303–16.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ladinsky, J. Autumn 1967. “The Geographic Mobility of Professional and Technical Manpower.” Journal of Human Resources 2 (4):475–94.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lu, K., K. G. Salvanes, and E. O. Sorensen. August 2012. Good Skills in Bad Times: Cyclical Skill Mismatch and the Long-Term Effects of Graduating in a Recession. IZA Working Paper.

  • Malamud, O., and A. K. Wozniak. 2012. “The Impact of College Education on Geographic Mobility.” Journal of Human Resources 47 (4):913–50.Google Scholar

  • Neumark, D. August 2002. “Youth Labor Markets in the United States: Shopping Around Vs. Staying Put.” The Review of Economics and Statistics 84 (3):462–82.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Oreopoulos, P., T. von Wachter, and A. Heisz. 2012. “Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4 (1):1–29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Oyer, P. Summer 2006. “Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (3):143–60.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Oyer, P. December 2008. “The Making of an Investment Banker: Stock Market Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income.” The Journal of Finance 63:2601–28.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ruggles, S., J. Trent Alexander, K. Genadek, R. Goeken, M. B. Schroeder, and M. Sobek. 2015. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database)]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.Google Scholar

  • Wozniak, A. K. 2010. “Are College Graduates More Responsive to Distant Labor Market Opportunities?” Journal of Human Resources 45 (4):944–70.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-09-10

Published in Print: 2016-01-01

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 97–124, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2015-0054.

Export Citation

©2016 by De Gruyter.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Fraser Summerfield and Ioannis Theodossiou
Economic Inquiry, 2017, Volume 55, Number 3, Page 1370

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in