NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Black Youth Nonemployment: Duration and Job Search

Harry J. Holzer

NBER Working Paper No. 1276
Issued in February 1984
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

This paper analyzes reservation wages and durations of nonemployment for young blacks and whites. Selfreported reservation wages are compared for blacks and whites before and after controlling for indicators of labor demand such as received wages, weeks worked, or other personal characterlstics. The effects of these reservation wages on durations of nonemployment as well as on subsequent wages are analyzed as well.The results show that young blacks seek jobs and wages which are comparable to those of young whites, but which are higher relative to what young blacks obtain. On the other hand, young blacks appear at least if not more likely to take specific low-skill jobs, albeit teporariiy. These reservation wages appear to have positive effects on nonemployment durations and subsequent wages for both groups, and explain up to a third of the higher nonemployment durations of young blacks.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1276

Published:

  • Holzer, Harry J."Reservation Wages and Their Labor Market Effects for Blackand White Male Youth," Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 157-177, Spring 1986.
  • Holzer, Harry J. "Black Youth Nonemployment: Duration and Job Search." The Black Youth Employment Crisis, edited by Richard B. Freeman and Harry J. Holzer, 1986, pp. 23-70.

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