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The Wage Mobility of Minimum Wage Workers

Author

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  • Ralph E. Smith
  • Bruce Vavrichek

Abstract

Using longitudinal data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the authors examine the earnings mobility of workers employed at the minimum wage. Results indicate that over 60% of workers who were earning the minimum wage in the mid-1980s were earning higher wages one year later; for those with gains, the typical rise was nearly 20%. A significant minority of workers, however—most of them lacking a high school diploma or working on a part-time basis—did not advance beyond the minimum wage between the two survey dates.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph E. Smith & Bruce Vavrichek, 1992. "The Wage Mobility of Minimum Wage Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 82-88, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:46:y:1992:i:1:p:82-88
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    File URL: http://ilr.sagepub.com/content/46/1/82.abstract
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    Cited by:

    1. William E. Even & David A. Macpherson, 2003. "The Wage and Employment Dynamics of Minimum Wage Workers," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 676-690, January.
    2. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michele Campolieti & Morley Gunderson & Byron Lee, 2014. "Minimum Wage Effects On Permanent Versus Temporary Minimum Wage Employment," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 578-591, July.
    4. Clemens, Jeffrey & Wither, Michael, 2019. "The minimum wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of effects on the employment and income trajectories of low-skilled workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 53-67.
    5. James Long, 1999. "Updated estimates of the wage mobility of minimum wage workers," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 493-503, December.
    6. Mark Partridge & Jamie Partridge, 2000. "Do Minimum Wage Hikes Raise US Long Term Unemployment? Evidence Using State Minimum Wage Rates," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(8), pages 713-726.
    7. Thomas L. Hungerford, 2003. "Do Workers with Low Lifetime Earnings Really Have Low-Earnings Every Year? Implications for Social Security Reform," Labor and Demography 0309007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2101-2163 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Janet Currie & Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "The Minimum Wage and the Employment of Youth Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 404-428.
    10. Bolvig, Iben, 2004. "Within- and between-firm mobility in the low-wage labour market," Working Papers 04-11, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    11. William J. Carrington & Bruce C. Fallick, 1999. "Minimum wage careers?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).

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