Testing Dual Labor Market Theory: a Reconsideration of the Evidence

35 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2000 Last revised: 27 Jul 2010

See all articles by William T. Dickens

William T. Dickens

Northeastern University - Department of Economics; Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Brookings Institution

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: July 1985

Abstract

This paper replicates and extends our earlier analysis of dual market theory. We use a technique which estimates for each worker a probability of being in the primary sector on the basis of his characteristics. We use this information to determine the occupational and industrial composition of the sectors. We continue to produce results which are very supportive of the theory. In studies by other authors, workers were "assigned" to the primary or secondary sector on the basis of the industry or occupation in which they are employed and educated guesses about the industries or occupations which make up the two sectors. We find that previous studies, which produced mixed and inconclusive results, had serious misclassification problems. In the cases examined, at least half of all full time prime age male workers identified as being in the secondary sector by these classification schemes are found to have a high probability of primary sector attachment. Past studies which were most supportive of dual market theory are found to have had the least severe misclassification problems.

Suggested Citation

Dickens, William T. and Lang, Kevin, Testing Dual Labor Market Theory: a Reconsideration of the Evidence (July 1985). NBER Working Paper No. w1670, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235678

William T. Dickens (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Lake Hall
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston ( email )

600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
United States

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Economic Studies
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
26
Abstract Views
1,561
PlumX Metrics