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A Dynamic Analysis of Educational Attainment, Occupational Choices, and Job Search

Paul Sullivan

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper examines career choices using a dynamic structural model that nests a job search model within a human capital model of occupational and educational choices. Individuals in the model decide when to attend school and when to move between firms and occupations over the course of their career. Workers search for suitable wage and non-pecuniary match values at firms across occupations given their heterogeneous skill endowments and preferences for employment in each occupation. Over the course of their careers workers endogenously accumulate firm and occupation specific human capital that affects wages differently across occupations. The parameters of the model are estimated with simulated maximum likelihood using data from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The structural parameter estimates reveal that both self-selection in occupational choices and mobility between firms account for a much larger share of total earnings and utility than the combined effects of firm and occupation specific human capital. Eliminating the gains from matching between workers and occupations would reduce total wages by 30%, eliminating the gains from job search would reduce wages by 19%, and eliminating the effects of firm and occupation specific human capital on wages would reduce wages by only 2.7%.

Keywords: occupational choice; job search; human capital; dynamic programming models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J62 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge, nep-edu, nep-hrm and nep-lab
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https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/861/1/MPRA_paper_861.pdf original version (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: A DYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT, OCCUPATIONAL CHOICES, AND JOB SEARCH (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: A Dynamic Analysis of Educational Attainment, Occupational Choices, and Job Search (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: A Dynamic Analysis of Educational Attainment, Occupational Choices, and Job Search (2007) Downloads
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