Wage Mobility Patterns in Europe

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis – Research and graduation external


Wage mobility is in the heart of economic research and political debate on the future
of the European labour markets. This study deals with substantial and methodological issues concerning wage mobility. It fits in the tradition of labour economists that
are particularly interested in measuring the returns to human capital investments
and the relationship between productivity and wages. More concisely, this thesis investigates the individual and institutional determinants of wage mobility. The effect
of human capital as well as other personal and job characteristics on wage dynamics
is studied using longitudinal data for several European countries. By examining
the results across countries featured by different labour markets institutions, we are
able to test to what extent wage dynamics depend on the institutional context. This
study shows that wage mobility is higher in countries that combine labour market
flexibility with employment and income security. It further underlines the significance of human capital in the determination of wage dynamics. However, mobility
levels are conditional to the pay levels; low-paid and high-paid workers face different
levels of wage mobility. This thesis also shows that there is a need to correct for
measurement error when studying wage mobility as this error strongly overestimates
wage changes. Wage mobility of the low-paid in the strongly regulated labour market of Germany is higher than in the unregulated labour market of the UK and the
moderately-flexible labour market of the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • Muffels, R., Supervisor, External person
  • Vermunt, J.K., Supervisor, External person
  • Fouarge, D., Co-supervisor, External person
Award date12 Sep 2007
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs9789053351260
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Naam instelling promotie: Tilburg University


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