Sunday, November 03, 2013


Despite reading and hearing about the poor job market for college graduates because of the Great Recession, I never looked into the facts until I came across a reference to Lisa Kahn's paper "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy" in Paul Krugman's End This Depression Now. The paper did get a write-up in the WSJ and here are some excerpts:
The Curse of the Class of 2009
For College Grads Lucky Enough to Get Work This Year, Low Wages are Likely to Haunt Them for a Decade or More

By Sara Murray
Updated May 9, 2009 11:59 p.m. ET

The bad news for this spring's college graduates is that they're entering the toughest labor market in at least 25 years.

The worse news: Even those who land jobs will likely suffer lower wages for a decade or more compared to those lucky enough to graduate in better times, studies show.

The damage can linger up to 15 years, says Lisa Kahn, a Yale School of Management economist. She used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a government data base, to track wages of white men who graduated before, during and after the deep 1980s recession.

Ms. Kahn found that for each percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate, those with the misfortune to graduate during the recession earned 7% to 8% less in their first year out than comparable workers who graduated in better times. The effect persisted over many years, with recession-era grads earning 4% to 5% less by their 12th year out of college, and 2% less by their 18th year out.

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