Matthew Bidwell (University of Pennsylvania)

Rontgen Building room 4E4SR03
Thursday June 27th at 12,45pm in room 4E4SR03
Department of Management and Technology would like to invite you to the next Seminar:
"Orderly but Unequal: Differential Returns to Career Typicality"

Matthew Bidwell (University of  Pennsylvania)



The cross-organization moves that are a building block of modern careers vary in their typicality. Sometimes, people follow well-trodden paths, moving within and across occupations in similar ways to other people. At other times, people make much less usual transitions. In this paper, we explore how that move typicality relates to wage attainment. Drawing on human capital and structural theories of careers, we argue that typical moves can assist in the development and leveraging of focused human capital. At the same time, though, we suggest that making typical moves can sometimes mean foregoing the opportunity to move into much more rewarding kinds of work. We therefore suggest that the value of typical career moves will differ substantially between those who are advantaged in the labor market, such as those with more education, whites, and men, and those who are less advantaged. We explore these arguments using the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), which follows 8416 workers from high school through the first 20 years of their careers. Although the average worker in our sample reaps wage benefits for typical job moves, we find that workers in low-wage jobs benefit from atypicality. We also find that African American and female workers reap fewer rewards for typical moves compared to white and male workers, respectively. This paper sheds light on an important aspect of careers and adds further understanding of structural inequalities in the labor market using a careers perspective.

Food and Beverages will be served in room 4E4SR03