Interrupted Work Careers

32 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2004

See all articles by Jacob Mincer

Jacob Mincer

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Haim Ofek

SUNY at Binghamton, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 1980

Abstract

The quantitative effects and even the existence of "human capital depreciation" phenomena has been a subject of controversy in the recent literature. Prior work, however, was largely cross-sectional and theiotgitudina1 dimension, if any, was retrospective. Using longitudinal panel data (on married women in NLS) we have now established that real wages at reentry are, indeed, lower than. at the point of labor force withdrawal, and the decline in wages is bigger the longer the interruption. Another striking finding is a relatively rapid growth in wages after the return to work. This rapid growth appears to reflect the restoration (or "repair") of previously eroded human capital. The phenomenon of "depreciation" and "restoration" is also visible in data for immigrants to the United States. However, while immigrants eventually catch up with and often surpass natives, returnees from the non-market never fully restore their earnings potential.

Suggested Citation

Mincer, Jacob and Ofek, Haim, Interrupted Work Careers (May 1980). NBER Working Paper No. w0479. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=262701

Jacob Mincer (Contact Author)

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

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Haim Ofek

SUNY at Binghamton, Department of Economics ( email )

Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
United States
(607) 777- 4454 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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