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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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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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  19. 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.
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