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Occupational Choice and Earnings Mobility in the Work Life – Empirical Evidence from Europe and the United States

Veronika V. Eberharter

A chapter in Inequality after the 20th Century: Papers from the Sixth ECINEQ Meeting, 2016, vol. 24, pp 331-359 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract Based on representative longitudinal data (CNEF 1980–2013) the paper analyzes gender differences of the level and the determinants of earnings dynamics in the work life of different cohorts of employees in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. Notwithstanding country differences concerning the existing welfare state regime constituting the institutional settings of the labor market, the educational system, and family role models, the empirical results show decreasing earnings mobility in the work history. The earnings level, educational attainment, family size, the occupational choice, the career stage, the birth cohort, and the macroeconomic fluctuations significantly influence earnings mobility. In the United States, earnings mobility is significantly lower and gender differences are less pronounced than in Germany and Great Britain. The gender gap of earnings mobility is less expressed for younger cohorts of German employees. The increase of the gender gap of earnings dynamics in the course of the work career indicates continuing heterogeneity of labor market behavior and outcome of women and men which contribute to persistent economic and social stratification.

Keywords: Personal income distribution; earnings mobility; human capital; occupational choice; wage level and structure; economics of gender; D31; J24; J31; J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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