We consider the early labour market experience of young persons. Using a large data sample of Norwegian individuals finishing education in 1989-91, we analyse the transition from school to work and the duration of the first job. We allow the search duration, the accepted wage, and the job duration to be connected in a system of simultaneous equations which is estimated by maximum likelihood. The empirical evidence suggests that individuals with higher levels of schooling get jobs more quickly, and also have longer durations of their first jobs. Apprentices have shorter search periods and stay in their jobs longer than other individuals at the same educational level. Females appear to have lower reservation wages when entering the labour market (shorter search time and lower wages). They also stay in the first job longer than males do. The search duration and the accepted wage affect job duration positively, but the estimated covariance terms suggest unobserved factors working in the opposite direction.
School-to-work transition search time wages job duration