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.
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (BEJEAP) is an international forum for scholarship that employs microeconomics to analyze issues in business, consumer behavior and public policy. Topics include the interaction of firms, the functioning of markets, the effects of domestic and international policy and the design of organizations and institutions.