NBER Working Papers by Robert H. Meyer

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Working Papers

October 1982The Transition from School to Work: The Experiences of Blacks and Whites
with David A. Wise: w1007
Because much of the concern about youth unemployment is motivated by the large differences between the rates for blacks and whites, we have pursued our earlier work by analyzing separately for black and white youth the relationship between high school preparation and early labor force experience. We find no striking differences between the determinants of weeks worked by whites and non-whites upon graduation from high school. Although vocational training in high school bears little relationship to weeks worked upon graduation, hours worked while in high school bear a strong relationship to later employment for students and non-students, white and non-white. Academic performanceas measured by standardized test scores and high school class rank isalso positively related to later weeks worked...
1982The Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment and Earnings of Youth
with David A. Wise: w0849
The employment and earnings effects of the minimum wage are estimated by parameterizing an hypothesized relationship between underlying market employment and wage relationships versus observed wage and employment distributions in the presence of a legislated minimum. If there had been no minimum during the 1973-78 period, we estimate that employment among out- of-school men 16 to 24 would have been approximately 4 percent higher than it in fact was. Among young men 16 to 19 employment would have been about 7 percent higher and among those 20 to 24, 2 percent higher. Employment among black youth 16 to 24 would have been almost 6 percent higher than it was, as compared with somewhat less than 4 percent for white youth. Although it is sometimes argued that the adverse employment effects of th...
July 1981Discontinuous Distributions and Missing Persons: The Minimum Wage and Unemployed Youth
with David A. Wise: w0711
The effects of minimum wage legislation on the employment and wage rates of youth are estimated using a new statistical approach. We find that without the minimum, not only would the percent of out-of-school youth who are employed be 4 to 6 percent higher than it is, but also that these youth would earn more. In particular, the expected hourly earnings of youth with market wage rates below the 1978 minimum are 10 percent lower with the minimum than they would be without it. Thus, an effect of the minimum is to increase the concentration of non-employment among low-wage workers and to reduce their earnings relative to higher wage workers as well. The minimum wage accounts for possibly a third of the difference between the employment rates of black and white youth, according to our results. ...
May 1979High School Preparation and Early Labor Force Experience
with David A. Wise: w0342
The relationship between high school training and work experience on the one hand and early labor force experience on the other are analyzed in the paper. In addition, the extent and nature of the persistence of early labor force experience is evaluated. The study is based on data for male youths from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. While there appears to be no relationship between job-related training in high school and post-graduation weeks worked or wage rates, there is a strong relationship between hours worked while in high school and both weeks worked and wage rates in the first four years after graduation. High school class rank and test scores also are positively related to early weeks worked and wage rates in the labor force. It is also found that...

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