Careers within Firms: Occupational Mobility Over the Life Cycle

47 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Eliza Forsythe

Eliza Forsythe

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date Written: April 12, 2018

Abstract

With falling labor market dynamism in the United States, opportunities within firms take on increasing importance in young workers’ career progression. Developing a variety of occupational ranking metrics, I show that occupational mobility within firms follows a standard life cycle pattern in which the frequency, distance, and wage return from mobility falls with age. However, when upward and downward mobility are considered separately, the average magnitude of directional mobility increases through middle age. I find that wage growth for young workers deteriorated substantially in the first decade of the 2000s, primarily driven by a reduction in wage growth within firms. Encouragingly, wage growth has improved markedly for young workers since 2012.

Keywords: Careers, occupations, youth

JEL Classification: J24, J62, M51

Suggested Citation

Forsythe, Eliza, Careers within Firms: Occupational Mobility Over the Life Cycle (April 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3165597 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3165597

Eliza Forsythe (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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