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Unlucky Cohorts: Estimating the Long-Term Effects of Entering the Labor Market in a Recession in Large Cross-Sectional Data Sets (WP-18-24)

Hannes Schwandt and Till M. von Wachter

This paper studies the differential persistent effects of initial economic conditions for labor market entrants in the United States from 1976 to 2015 by education, gender, and race using labor force survey data. The researchers find persistent earnings and wage reductions especially for less advantaged entrants that increases in government support only partly offset. The researchers confirm the results are unaffected by selective migration and labor market entry by also using a double-weighted average unemployment rate at labor market entry for each birth cohort and state-of-birth cell based on average state migration rates and average cohort education rates from Census data.

Hannes Schwandt, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University 

Till M. von Wachter, Professor of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles

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