Cohort changes in the transition from school to work: Evidence from three NLS surveys

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study examines the changes in the school-to-work transition of young adults in the United States over the latter part of the twentieth century. Their transition is portrayed using data from National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women, Young Men, and Youth 1979. In general, we find that indicators of educational attainment, working while in school and non-school related work increased across cohorts for almost all racial/ethnic and gender groups. This was especially true for young women. Furthermore, various indicators of personal and family backgrounds changed in ways consistent with an improvement across cohorts in the preparation of young men and women for their attainment of schooling and work experience and their success in the labor market. The one exception to this general picture of improvement across cohorts was Hispanic men, who experienced a notable decline in educational attainment and in a variety of personal and family background characteristics. With respect to hourly wage rates, we find that wages over the ages 16 through 27 declined across cohorts. However, the rate of growth of wages with age, particularly over adult ages, increased across cohorts, except Hispanic men. Our findings highlight the need for accounting for the endogeneity and selectivity of early skill acquisition. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bacolod, M; Joseph Hotz, V

Published Date

  • August 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 351 - 373

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0272-7757

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.econedurev.2005.09.004

Citation Source

  • Scopus