IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Wage Mobility Through Job Mobility



The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between job mobility and wage mobility. One of the main points of this paper is that job mobility is not necessarily bad. Job mobility might be the quickest way in which workers can advance in their careers and move up in the wage structure. Specifically I am going to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary job changes in both the modeling of job mobility behavior and the determination of the wage gains associated with job changing activities. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data, I find that workers voluntarily leave their jobs whenever they find themselves being paid below the customary wage rate. In particular, a worker that earns 30% less than the average wage for a worker with his characteristics and labor market experience is more than one and a half times as likely to initiate a separation than a worker just earning the average wage rate. Conversely, a worker earning 30% more than the average wage for a worker with his qualifications and labor market experience faces almost a 50% higher risk of being laid-off. This result is consistent across models. Workers' post-separation wage gains also depend on this distinction. Voluntary job changes lead, on average, to gains on the order of 7%, while layoffs imply losses of 5%. That is, voluntary separations, on average, allow workers to improve their relative position in the wage structure. Laid-off workers, however, tend

Suggested Citation

  • Marcela C. Perticara(Georgetown University/Ilades), 2004. "Wage Mobility Through Job Mobility," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-14, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~04-04-14

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: None

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1981. "Wage Growth and Job Turnover: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hausman, Jerry A & Taylor, William E, 1981. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1377-1398, November.
    3. Neal, Derek, 1999. "The Complexity of Job Mobility among Young Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 237-261, April.
    4. McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1990. "General Productivity Growth in a Theory of Quits and Layoffs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 75-98, January.
    5. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-154, January.
    6. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 1998. "Job Change Patterns And The Wages Of Young Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 276-286, May.
    7. Jacob Mincer, 1986. "Wage Changes in Job Changes," NBER Working Papers 1907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Keith, Kristen & McWilliams, Abagail, 1997. "Job Mobility and Gender-Based Wage Growth Differentials," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 320-333, April.
    9. Bernhardt, Annette, et al, 1999. "Trends in Job Instability and Wages for Young Adult Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 65-90, October.
    10. Loprest, Pamela J, 1992. "Gender Differences in Wage Growth and Job Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 526-532, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gielen, A. C. & van Ours, J.C., 2006. "Why do Worker-Firm Matches Dissolve?," Discussion Paper 2006-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. May Gadallah, 2011. "Factors of Career Mobility in Egypt by Gender," Working Papers 623, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 Jan 2011.
    3. Davia, Maria A., 2005. "Job mobility and wage mobility at the beginning of the working career: a comparative view across Europe," ISER Working Paper Series 2005-03, Institute for Social and Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Mobility; Job Turnover; Wage Differentials; Duration Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~04-04-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marcia Suss). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.