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ERIC Number: ED179741
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar-1
Abnormal Youth Employment and Imperfect Information. Final Report, September 1978-March 1979.
Johnson, William R.
This paper examines the theoretical basis for "excessive" job mobility among certain groups of young workers that may lead to spells of unemployment and low lifetime earnings. An economic model of job findings by young workers is used to describe "normal" behavior and "pathological" cases of excessive job mobility and unemployment. Emphasis is on imperfect information, especially about the workers' own tastes and abilities. Theoretical results are derived by assuming that workers maximize expected earnings subject to the constraints facing them. By varying the givens of the problem (e.g., the degree or source of ignorance) the effects on job mobility and lifetime earnings are derived. The results show that ignorance about one's own tastes and abilities contributes to the duration of the high mobility period at the outset of a worker's worklife. The assumption that information about the labor market is generated by the young worker's social milieu, his parents, and neighbors is examined. A feedback effect may exist by which the low level of labor market achievement of one generation of workers restricts the information available to the next generation, which reduces the attainment of the next generation. In this case, there is a low attainment "trap" which may be hard to break out of. (Author)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Evaluation and Research (DOL), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Virginia Univ., Charlottesville.
Note: Prepared through the Department of Economics