Almost Famous: How Wealth Shocks Impact Career Choices
57 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2019 Last revised: 23 Mar 2020
Date Written: January 31, 2020
We examine how wealth losses impact the type and quantity of jobs individuals pursue, and the short- and long-term consequences of these shocks on career trajectories. Using a novel dataset, we compare film industry workers in the same county and occupation but with different exposure to local house price changes. Homeowners who experience greater losses reduce their participation in films with award-winning cast and crew, films that are positively rated, and films that win awards, but they increase involvement in small productions. These losses also have adverse long-term consequences on the probability of landing leading roles, individuals' popularity, and film quality. Renters are not affected by these shocks indicating that local labor demand changes do not explain these results. Our findings suggest that during the Great Recession, several individuals could not use housing wealth as a safety net, which in turn impacted their career paths.
Keywords: Career Choices, Job Search, Employer/Employee Matching, Long-term Effects, Wealth Shocks, Household Finance, Labor Economics, Real Estate
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