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Job Mobility and Early Career Wage Growth of White, African-American, and Hispanic Women

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This article examines whether and how young women's job mobility influences racial and ethnic wage-growth differentials during the first eight years after leaving school. Methods.

We use the NLSY-79 Work History File to simulate the influence of job mobility on the wages of skilled and unskilled workers. Results.

African-American and Hispanic women average less job mobility than white women, especially if they did not attend college. Unskilled women who experience frequent job changes during the first four postschool years reap positive wage returns, but turnover beyond the shopping period incurs wage penalties. Job mobility does not appear to boost wage growth for college-educated women. Conclusions.

Among unskilled women, race and ethnic wage disparities partly derive from group differences in the frequency of job changes, but unequal returns to job mobility drive the wage gaps for skilled women. We discuss several explanations for these disparities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Tel-Aviv University 2: Princeton University

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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