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Intragenerational wage mobility and the social disadvantage: A comparative study of West Germany and the United States

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posted on 17.05.2022, 14:10 authored by Raffaele Grotti, Giampiero Passaretta

This article studies wage mobility over the early careers in West Germany and the United States. Through an institutional lens, we examine (1) the extent of intragenerational wage fluctuations; (2) whether they structure into upward mobility trends or remains volatile variations; and (3) whether mobility trends align with classical stratification dimensions. We highlight three main findings. First, intragenerational wage fluctuations are stronger in the United States compared with Germany. Second, wage fluctuations translate into steeper trends of upward mobility in Germany, but the heterogeneity in wage trends across individuals and the year-to-year volatility around the individual trends are larger in the United States. Lastly, we find persistent intragenerational wage inequality by gender, social origin, education, and race. These results point toward the idea that higher wage fluctuations in the United States do not reflect opportunities for upward mobility but rather uncertainty around the prospects of progression.

Funding

Vetenskapsrådet (VR) (Dnr 2020-01285)

History

ISSN

2002-617X

Original title

Intragenerational wage mobility and the social disadvantage: A comparative study of West Germany and the United States

Original language

English

Publication date

17/05/2022

Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)

310 Sociologiska institutionen | Department of Sociology

access_level

public

access_condition

PUBLIC