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The Evolution of Wage Mobility in the German Low-Wage Sector - Is There Evidence for Increasing State Dependence?

  • Aretz, Bodo
  • Gürtzgen, Nicole

In this paper, we study how wage mobility in the low-wage sector has changed in Western Germany between 1984 and 2004. Using German individual register data, we document a clear upward trend in the persistence of low-wage employment for both men and women. To explore whether the observed rise in persistence is accounted for by an increase in "genuine" state dependence or by compositional shifts of the low-wage sector, we model low-pay transitions by estimating a series of multivariate probit models. To address the initial conditions problem and the endogeneity of earnings attrition, our estimation approach accounts for the selection into low-wage employment and earnings retention. Using the estimates from the transition model, we determine the evolution of genuine state dependence which is defi ned as the average diff erence in low-pay transition probabilities conditional on being initially low and high paid, respectively. For men, our findings strongly argue against an upward trend of genuine state dependence, as the latter exhibits a fairly stationary development. This contrasts with women, whose evolution of genuine state dependence displays a slight upward trend.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/62049/1/VfS_2012_pid_476.pdf
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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century with number 62049.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62049
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2002. "Modelling Low Income Transitions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 288, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen & Meghir, Costas, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 635-66, October.
  3. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  4. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2001-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2006. "Calculation of multivariate normal probabilities by simulation, with applications to maximum simulated likelihood estimation," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(2), pages 156-189, June.
  7. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2003. "Multivariate probit regression using simulated maximum likelihood," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(3), pages 278-294, September.
  8. Biewen, Martin & Steffes, Susanne, 2010. "Unemployment persistence: Is there evidence for stigma effects?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 188-190, March.
  9. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2007. "Earnings mobility among Italian low-paid workers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 465-482, April.
  10. Kohn, Karsten, 2006. "Rising Wage Dispersion, After All ! The German Wage Structure at the Turn of the Century," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-31, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Stewart, M.B. & Swaffield, J.K., 1997. "Low Pay Dynamics and Transition Probabilities," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 495, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. Cappellari, Lorenzo, 2002. " Do the 'Working Poor' Stay Poor? An Analysis of Low Pay Transitions in Italy," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(2), pages 87-110, May.
  13. Lockwood, Ben, 1991. "Information Externalities in the Labour Market and the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 733-53, July.
  14. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Völter, Robert, 2005. "Imputation Rules to Improve the Education Variable in the IAB Employment Subsample," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  15. Dickens, Richard, 2000. "Caught in a Trap? Wage Mobility in Great Britain: 1975-1994," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(268), pages 477-97, November.
  16. Lee, Sokbae & Wilke, Ralf A., 2005. "Reform of Unemployment Compensation in Germany: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis Using Register Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-29, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  17. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-16 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Wage Mobility In The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 351-368, August.
  19. Gernandt, Johannes, 2009. "Decreasing wage mobility in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-044, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  20. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Report No. 3: Assessment of Possible Migration Pressure and its Labour Market Impact Following EU Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Research Reports 3, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. repec:ese:iserwp:2004-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," NBER Working Papers 8832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2010. "Earnings Inequality and Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Social Security Data since 1937," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 91-128, February.
  25. Omori, Yoshiaki, 1997. "Stigma Effects of Nonemployment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 394-416, April.
  26. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2004. "Modelling Low Pay Transition Probabilities, Accounting for Panel Attrition, Non-Response, and Initial Conditions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1232, CESifo Group Munich.
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