Within- and Between-Firm Mobility in the Low-Wage Labour Market

  • Iben Bolvig


The issue of working poor – that is, workers with an income below a threshold that would ensure a certain standard of living – has been a concern in the United States for a number of decades (see for example Wachtel and Betsey, 1972; Gittleman and Joyce, 1999). The widening of the wage distribution in most OECD countries has also increased the number of working poor and low-wage workers in Europe (see Gottschalk and Smeeding, 1997, for a survey of selected OECD countries and Andersen, 2003, for a study of changes in Danish wages during the 1990s), and therefore the issue of low-wage workers has received increased interest during the last decade in European labour research as well. The number of low-paid workers is not, however, in itself necessarily a cause for concern. If low-paid jobs are merely transitory occupations in the move up the earnings ladder then the effect on lifetime earnings will be small and the disutility minimal. However if they are dead-end jobs that are consistently held by a group of low-wage workers, these workers will be marginalized in terms of income.


Labour Market High Wage Destination State Firm Characteristic Duration Dependence 
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© Iben Bolvig 2005

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  • Iben Bolvig

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