Solidarity Lost? Low Pay Persistence During the Post-Communist Transition in Poland
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University of Warsaw
Publication date: 2015-12-30
Polish Sociological Review 2015;192(4):493–510
This article analyses long-term changes in the persistence of low wages in Poland, given the variations in the general economic situation. All analyses are based on data from the Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN) conducted throughout the post-communist transition period, 1988–2013, on a representative sample of the Polish adult population. The study found that being in a low paid job raises the probability of experiencing the same situation five years later, even when controlling for the general economic context and the respondents’ demographic and economic characteristics. Upward mobility rates among initially low paid workers were significantly higher during periods of economic prosperity; however, even then low pay persistence remained substantial. The results also point to a secular growth in the persistence of poverty-level wages over the past two decades. Persistent low wages may bring about spaces of long-term poverty and social exclusion which cannot be overlooked by policy makers.