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Who benefits from a job change: The dwarfs or the giants?


  • Pavlopoulos, Dimitris

    (CEPS/INSTEAD and University of Leuven)

  • Fouarge, Didier

    (Research Center for Education and the Labour Market (ROA))

  • Muffels, Ruud

    (Tilburg University, Department of Sociology)

  • Vermunt, Jeroen K.

    (Tilburg University, Department of Methodology and Statistics)


Empirical studies have shown that voluntary job-to-job changes have a positive effect on wage mobility. In this paper, we suggest that the impact of a job change on wage growth depends on the position in the wage distribution. Using panel data from the UK and Germany, we investigate the effect of employer changes and within-firm job changes on year-to-year wage mobility. We show that a change of employer results into a wage increase for the low-paid workers but not for the high-paid workers. Within-firm job changes produce, on average, moderate wage gains for the low-paid workers in the UK, but have no effect in Germany. Results on 3-year wage mobility are shown to be very similar to the results on year-to-year wage growth.

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  • Pavlopoulos, Dimitris & Fouarge, Didier & Muffels, Ruud & Vermunt, Jeroen K., 2007. "Who benefits from a job change: The dwarfs or the giants?," IRISS Working Paper Series 2007-16, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2007-16

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    Cited by:

    1. María Cervini-Plá & Antonia López-Villavicencio & José Ignacio Silva, 2015. "The heterogeneous cyclicality of income and wages among the distribution," Working Papers halshs-01133823, HAL.
    2. Corsini, Lorenzo, 2008. "Institutions, Technological Change and the Wage Differentials Between Skilled and Unskilled Workers: Theory and Evidence from Europe," IRISS Working Paper Series 2008-02, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    3. Argaw, Bethlehem A. & Maier, Michael F. & Skriabikova, Olga J., 2017. "Risk attitudes, job mobility and subsequent wage growth during the early career," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-023, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Adele Bergin, 2013. "Job Changes and Wage Changes: Estimation with Measurement Error in a Binary Variable," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n240-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    5. Prejmerean, Mihaela Cornelia & Vasilache, Simona, 2008. "What's a university worth? Changes in the lifestyle and status of post-2000 European Graduates," IRISS Working Paper Series 2008-05, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    6. Maier, Michael & Argaw, Bethlehem A. & Maier, Michael F. & Skriabikova, Olga J., 2016. "Risk attitudes, job mobility and subsequent wage growth during the early career," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145677, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item


    low pay ; high pay ; job mobility ; wage mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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