The Long-Term Effects of Job Mobility on the Adult Earnings of Young Men: Evidence from Integrated Employer-Employee Data
The paper follows a population of 18-year-old men to examine the impact that early job mobility has on their earnings prospects as young adults. Longitudinal employer-employee data from the state of Maryland allow me to take into consideration the endogenous determination of mobility in response to unobserved worker as well as firm characteristics, which may lead to spurious results. The descriptive portion of the paper shows that mobility patterns of young workers differ considerably with the characteristics of the firm; however, growth patterns are not significantly different on average. Workers employed in high-turnover firms (such as those in retail and services) experience more job turnover but similar rates of wage growth compared to workers employed in low turnover firms (such as those in manufacturing); however, their wage levels remain below and the wage gap actually increases over time. Regression results controlling for unobservable show that employers in the low-turnover sector discount earnings of workers who displayed early market mobility. By contrast, I find no evidence that mobility has negative effects for workers that remain employed in the high turnover sector.
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