Are Individuals Optimizing Their Wage Path? An Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data
This paper examines employer-to-employer mobility by describing the individual wage trajectories along the working career. The model, which is designed to introduce optimal between-firm mobility, is based on the search, the matching, and the human capital theory. It is emphasized that hopping from one wage trajectory to another by mobility may be accompanied with wage losses. An empirical review of the model extracts information on whether the between-firm mobility wage trajectory exceeds the within-firm wage path. The results are in line with the optimal employer-to-employer mobility model derived in this paper. Furthermore, it is shown that downward mobility as well as upward mobility is very common in reality, and that both types of mobility are shown to cause wage losses.
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