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Journal Article

Career, experience and returns to human capital: is the dual labour market hypothesis relevant for the UK?


Publication date

01 Dec 2002


This paper investigates the relationship between career status, labour market experience and returns to human capital accumulation in the context of a two-tier, career and non-career labour market. Using micro data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), this study detects wage and employment mechanisms that differ between these two tiers of workers. The paper finds no support for the hypothesis of strict duality, by which the returns to education are expected to differ across labour market segments, with the returns in career employment being high and positive and the returns in the non-career sector being close to zero. The paper, however, finds support for significant returns to current tenure only in the career sector and also for the scarring hypothesis, according to which part-time employment and unemployment experience have a negative effect on participation and earnings in the career sector. Finally, there is evidence that only non-career earnings are significantly affected by local demand conditions, in contrast to earnings in the career sector. Career status is modelled as an endogenous variable subject to an initial job choice.

Published in

Research in Economics


56:4, 399-426


Albert Sloman Library holdings do not cover; not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only


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