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Analyzing the role that occupation-related skills'and changes in the demand for those skills caused by long-term changes in the occupational structure and short-term labor demand shocks'play in explaining why some low-wage workers 'move up' along occupation-based pathways or 'ladders' while others are left behind. While recent research suggests that changes in the occupational structure have led to increases in inequality and overall employment in low-wage occupations (Mouw and Kalleberg 2010; Autor, Katz, and Kearney 2006), it is not clear what the implications are for the mobility of individual workers.

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