The Long-Term Labor Market Consequences of Graduating from College in a Bad Economy
Lisa B. Kahn
Harvard University, Department of Economics; NBER
September 12, 2006
This paper studies the labor market experiences of white male college graduates as a function of economic conditions at time of college graduation. I use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth whose respondents graduated college between 1979 and 1988 and are followed for 14 to 23 years after college graduation. I employ both national and state variation in economic conditions at time of college graduation to identify the effect. Because timing and location of college graduation could potentially be affected by economic conditions, I also instrument for the national unemployment rate usinf year of birth and for the state unemployment rate using year of birth and state of residence at age 14. I find large, negative wage effects to graduating in a worse economy which persist for the entire period studied. I find that cohorts who graduate in worse economies are in lower level occupations and have slightly higher educational attainment. Labor supply is unaffected.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
JEL Classification: E32, J24, J31, J41
Date posted: April 20, 2005