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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

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~04-04-14.

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Date of creation: 14 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~04-04-14
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1978. "Wage Growth and Job Turnover: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 0285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. J. A. Hausman & W. E. Taylor, 1980. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Working papers 255, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. 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 S65-90, October.
  4. Derek Neal, 1998. "The Complexity of Job Mobility Among Young Men," NBER Working Papers 6662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Keith, Kristen & McWilliams, Abagail, 1997. "Job Mobility and Gender-Based Wage Growth Differentials," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 320-33, April.
  6. Loprest, Pamela J, 1992. "Gender Differences in Wage Growth and Job Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 526-32, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Jacob Mincer, 1986. "Wage Changes in Job Changes," NBER Working Papers 1907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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 121-54, January.
  10. 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.
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