NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Order from Chaos? The Effects of Early Labor Market Experiences on Adult Labor Market Outcomes

Rosella Gardecki, David Neumark

NBER Working Paper No. 5899
Issued in January 1997
NBER Program(s):   LS

This paper examines the consequences of initial periods of churning,' floundering about,' or mobility' in the labor market to help assess whether faster transitions to stable employment relationships--such as those envisioned by advocates of school-to-work programs--would be likely to lead to better adult labor market outcomes. Our interpretation of the results is that there is at best modest evidence linking early job market stability to better labor market outcomes. We find that adult labor market outcomes (defined as of the late 20s or early to mid-30s) are for the most part unrelated to early labor market experiences for both men and women. This evidence does not provide a compelling case for efforts to explicitly target the school-to-work transition, insofar as this implies changing the structure of youth labor markets so that workers become more firmly attached to employers, industries, or occupations at

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5899

Published: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 51, no. 2 (January 1998): 299- 322.

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