Earnings Trajectory of Low-Wage Workers in the United States
Mobility literature in economics examines the distribution of earnings in a workforce. That research is motivated to better understand how workers can rise or fall in the distribution of earnings. However, with new and more detailed forms of data, researchers can now look at earnings mobility through the lenses of individual wages. The data come from the Survey of Income and Program Participation Gold Standard File (SIPP GSF), which links individuals to their wage history, work history, education level, and other detailed variables. This project examines the earnings mobility prospects of young adults who experience low wages while surveyed in the SIPP. The goal of this project is to lay the foundation for the mobility of low wage young adults, which is a niche in economics with limited research. Alongside building an underlining estimate of the long-run wage prospects of low-wage workers, this project aims to evaluate the economic behaviors and choices of the individuals that make up the low-wage cohort.
Spears, Kyle (2020). Earnings Trajectory of Low-Wage Workers in the United States. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from