Uses Bank of Italy’s Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) panel data for 1993 and 1995 to model transition probabilities at the bottom of the Italian wage distribution and to investigate the features and determinants of low‐wage mobility. The analysis is based on a bivariate probit model with endogenous switching which allows tackling the initial conditions problem, i.e. the potential endogeneity of the conditioning starting state. Results show the appropriateness of such a choice, the hypothesis of exogenous initial conditions being always rejected. Shows that while some factors such as education, sex and geographical location have an effect on low‐pay persistence, job‐related variables are more effective in avoiding falls into low pay from higher pay. It is also shown how raw persistence involves a considerable share of true state dependence, i.e. the experience of low pay raises, per se, the probability of future low‐pay episodes, irrespective of personal attributes.
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