Escaping Low Earnings: The Role of Employer Characteristics and Changes

Posted: 22 Jul 2004

See all articles by Harry J. Holzer

Harry J. Holzer

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Julia Lane

Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Lars Vilhuber

Cornell University - Department of Economics; U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

Abstract

Using a unique dataset based on individual Unemployment Insurance wage records for Illinois that are matched to other Census data for the years 1990-95, the authors analyze the extent to which escape from or entry into low earnings among adult workers was associated with changes in their employers and firm characteristics. The results show considerable mobility into and out of low earnings status, even for adults. They indicate that job changes were an important part of the process by which workers escaped or entered low-wage status, and that changes in employer characteristics help to account for these changes. Matches between personal and firm characteristics also contributed to observed earnings outcomes.

Keywords: Low wages, wages and employer characteristics, wages and job mobility

JEL Classification: J30, J31

Suggested Citation

Holzer, Harry J. and Lane, Julia and Vilhuber, Lars, Escaping Low Earnings: The Role of Employer Characteristics and Changes. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 57, No. 4, pp. 560-578. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=567362

Harry J. Holzer (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Julia Lane

Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org

Lars Vilhuber

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4700 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

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