Escaping low earnings: The role of employer characteristics and changes

Harry J. Holzer, Julia I. Lane, Lars Vilhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a unique dataset based on individual Unemployment Insurance wage records for Illinois in the 1990s that are matched to other Census data, the authors analyze the extent to which escape from or entry into low earnings among adult workers was associated with changes in their employers and firm characteristics. The results show considerable mobility into and out of low earnings status, even for adults. They indicate that job changes were an important part of the process by which workers escaped or entered low-wage status, and that changes in employer characteristics help to account for these job changes. Matches between personal and firm characteristics also contributed to observed earnings outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-578
Number of pages19
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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