Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Impact of Education Level and Gender on Job Search Duration in Turkey

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Impact of Education Level and Gender on Job Search Duration in Turkey

Article excerpt

There are two fundamental components that determine the reservation wage and the optimum point to conduct a job search: The education level of the job seeker (i.e., the main element of the reservation wage determination) and the market's current unemployment rate. Another important element is the behavioral differences between males and females. In this context, Ashenfelter and Ham (1979), Nickell (1979), Kiefer (1985), and Kettunen (1997) examined the relationship between education and unemployment, while Durand (1975), Pampel and Tanaka (1986), Psacharopoulos and Tzannatos (1989), Schultz (1990), Tansel (2001), and Bildirici, Aykaç, Özaksoy, and Akgül (2012) emphasized the differences of job search behavior, unemployment rate, and reservation wage determination between males and females, particularly during economic crisis periods.

A limited number of previous studies have examined this issue specifically within Turkey. Dayioglu and Kasnakoglu (1997), Tunali (1997), Özar and Senesen (1998), and Dayioglu (2000) evaluated the education level and labor force participation in Turkey, while Tasçi and Darici (2009) and Kumas and Çaglar (2011) examined the unemployment rate according to the gender gap. Previous research on the topic is limited due to the absence of reliable data on wages, a problem that still exists and causes issues during econometric analysis processes.

The relationship between job search behavior and education and unemployment rate has drawn attention in both job search theory and human capital theory.

In human capital theory, chosen education level maximizes the utility and income for a person's life. Early empirical research on the subject was conducted by De Wolff and van Slijpe (1973), Willis and Rosen (1979), Garen (1984), and Oosterbeek (1990). Determination of the optimum education level is a crucial issue, as Spence (1973), Hartog (1981; 1986), Duncan and Hoffmen (1981), Tsang and Levin (1985), Rumberger (1981), and Hartog and Oosterbeek (1988) showed that choosing an education level above the optimum point can cause complications in the long run.

In job search models, it is assumed that the higher the level of education, the larger the increase in job opportunities. Since job-offer details proposed to individuals differ for the same job, they build up a job description for each individual. Furthermore, it is assumed that as a result of the increase in job opportunities by schooling year, employment offers that fall short of the education level can be accepted, but the ones that exceed it cannot be accepted or proposed. In addition to this direct effect, the education level and alternatives that increase according to the reservation wage generate a negative effect on duration of unemployment.

This paper is organized as follows. The next sections discuss, respectively, the literature and data and econometric methodology used in this paper, econometric findings and their implications, culminating with some concluding remarks.

Literature

The relationship between job search theory and human capital theory is shown in previous literature in two ways: (1) by showing the relationship between job search duration and education, and (2) by showing the relationship between education and unemployment.

Previous literature reveals that job leaving, job searching, and job changing behaviors differ for females based on the different behavioral patterns of gender imposed by society.

For example, Kettunen (1997) examined the relationship between the duration of unemployment and education by using Finnish data. He used the years of schooling as an explanatory variable for the duration of unemployment and stated that highly educated people have a greater difficulty in finding a new job than their peers with a lower level of education. He also showed that people who hold a master's and/or doctoral degree and people with fewer than nine years of education are the groups with the lowest possibility of finding a new job. …

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