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Job Mobility and Earnings Over the Life Cycle

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

The paper analyzes the effects of job mobility on earnings both at young and at older ages. The model takes into account the discontinuity of earnings across jobs, the decline of human capital investment within the job and over the life cycle, and the effects of mobility on the slope of the earnings profile. Careful attention to the functional form of the earnings equation indicates why the coefficient of the current segment is usually larger than the coefficient of the previous segments. Findings from the NLS data include: (1.) Mobile individuals at all ages invest significantly less in on-the-job training. (2.) Although job mobility is associated with significant wage gains (across jobs), there is a substantial wage differential between the mobile and the non-mobile at older ages. (3.) The explanatory power of the earnings equation is significantly increased by accounting for the effects of job mobility; job mobility is an important determinant of the wage structure.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas, 1978. "Job Mobility and Earnings Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0233
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Henneberger, Fred & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2002. "Beweggründe und Determinanten zwischenbetrieblicher Mobilität: Die Schweiz in einer internationalen Perspektive (Motives and determinants of job-to-job mobility : Switzerland in an international persp," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 35(2), pages 205-231.
    2. Javier Gómez Pineda, 2004. "A Framework for Macroeconomic Stability in Emerging Market Economies," Borradores de Economia 320, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. van Huizen, Thomas & Alessie, Rob, 2019. "Risk aversion and job mobility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 91-106.
    4. Emily C. Blank, 1988. "Layoffs and Wage Growth of Male Household Heads," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 239-250, Jul-Sep.
    5. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2439-2483 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. T.M. van Huizen & Rob Alessie, 2016. "Risk Aversion and Job Mobility," Working Papers 16-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
    7. Aviad Tur-Sinai, 2020. "The effect of terror and economic sector in early career years on future career path," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(5), pages 2153-2184, November.
    8. Alain Cohn & Michel André Maréchal & Frédéric Schneider & Roberto A. Weber, 2015. "Frequent job changes can signal poor work attitude and reduce employability," ECON - Working Papers 210, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2019.
    9. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The gender gap in early-career wage growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 983-1024, July.
    10. Harvey S. James & Derek M. Johnson, 2000. "Just-cause provisions, severance pay, and the efficiency wage hypothesis," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 83-88.
    11. Emily Blank, 1989. "Changes in the stock of on-the-job training, race, and wage growth," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 45-57, March.
    12. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2021. "How Job Changes Affect People's Lives — Evidence from Subjective Well‐Being Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(2), pages 279-306, June.
    13. Bäker, Agnes, 2015. "Non-tenured post-doctoral researchers’ job mobility and research output: An analysis of the role of research discipline, department size, and coauthors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 634-650.
    14. Parrado, E. & Wolff, E., 1999. "Occupational and Industry Mobility in the United States, 1969-1992," Working Papers 99-20, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    15. Parrado, Eric & Caner, Asena & Wolff, Edward N., 2007. "Occupational and industrial mobility in the United States," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 435-455, June.
    16. Iris Kesternich & Bettina Siflinger & James P. Smith & Franziska Valder, 2022. "Relationship Stability: Evidence from Labor and Marriage Markets," CEBI working paper series 22-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    17. van Huizen, Thomas & Alessie, Rob, 2015. "Time preferences and career investments," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 77-92.
    18. Michael Carlos Best & Henrik Jacobsen Jacobsen, 2013. "Optimal Income Taxation with Career Effects of Work Effort," Working Papers 2013-9, Princeton University. Economics Department..
    19. Alan Manning & Farzad Saidi, 2010. "Understanding the Gender Pay Gap: What's Competition Got to Do with it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(4), pages 681-698, July.
    20. Eric Parrado & Asena Caner & Edward N. Wolff, 2005. "Occupational and Industrial Mobility in the United States 1969–93," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_416, Levy Economics Institute.
    21. Eliza Forsythe, 2019. "Careers within Firms: Occupational Mobility Over the Lifecycle," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 33(3), pages 241-277, September.
    22. Nuno M. O. Romão & Vitor M. A. Escaria, 2004. "Wage mobility, Job mobility and Spatial mobility in the Portuguese economy," ERSA conference papers ersa04p584, European Regional Science Association.
    23. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1982. "Partial Retirement and Wage Profiles of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 1000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Henneberger, Fred & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2002. "Beweggründe und Determinanten zwischenbetrieblicher Mobilität: Die Schweiz in einer internationalen Perspektive (Motives and determinants of job-to-job mobility : Switzerland in an international persp," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 35(2), pages 205-231.

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