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Economics Working Paper Series No. 2020/08
Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, Auckland
Several studies have shown significant persistence in low pay, along with a greater probability of moving out of low pay and into higher pay in the future. Low-paid jobs are therefore often deemed stepping stones, rather than dead-ends. However, using point-in-time information past literature has usually only considered changes in labour market status at the annual level and not accounted for within-year changes of an individual's low pay position. Using population-wide administrative data with monthly earnings information, this study accounts for changes in an individual's low pay position and shows that attachment to the low pay sector is highly heterogeneous. The empirical evidence points to workers that have a strong attachment to the low pay sector facing a very high probability of staying low-paid employed; and the likelihood of their low pay jobs being stepping stones towards higher pay are found to be negligible.
low pay
pay persistence
dynamic random effects models
administrative data
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Working Paper

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