Returns to job mobility: the role of observed and unobserved factors

Publication type

Conference Paper


European Association of Labour Economists Conference


Publication date

September 18, 2008


We investigate the returns to promotions and separations from firms using Portuguese
linked employer-employee data. More than 90% of the total variation in wages can be ex-
plained by observed and unobserved characteristics of workers and firms. Taken together,
worker and firm unobserved effects explain more than half of the variation of wages for all
types of job mobility. Our results suggest that promoted workers are high wage workers in
high wage firms. Movers are inherently lower wage workers, in lower wage firms. However,
on average, workers that find a new job within one year enter firms that pay higher wages.
This is not true for workers that take more than a year to find a new job.

Related Publications



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest