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The Costs of Occupational Mobility: An Aggregate Analysis

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  • Guido Matias Cortes
  • Giovanni Gallipoli

Abstract

We estimate the costs of occupational mobility and quantify the relative importance of differences in task content as a component of total mobility costs. We use a novel approach based on a model of occupational choice that delivers a gravity equation linking worker flows to occupation characteristics and transition costs. Using data from the Current Population Survey and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles we find that task-specific costs account for no more than 15% of the total transition cost across most occupation pairs. Transition costs vary widely across occupations and, while increasing with the dissimilarity in the mix of tasks performed, are mostly accounted for by task-independent occupation-specific factors. The fraction of transition costs that can be attributed to task-related variables appears fairly stable over the 1994–2013 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Matias Cortes & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2018. "The Costs of Occupational Mobility: An Aggregate Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 275-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:16:y:2018:i:2:p:275-315.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Comerford & Jose V Rodriguez Mora & Michael J Watts, 2017. "The rise of meritocracy and the inheritance of advantage," Working Papers 1716, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
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    3. Ji Ting, 2019. "Aggregate implications of occupational inheritance in China and India," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Ronald Bachmann & Peggy Bechara & Christina Vonnahme, 2020. "Occupational Mobility in Europe: Extent, Determinants and Consequences," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(1), pages 79-108, March.
    5. Blien, Uwe & Dauth, Wolfgang & Roth, Duncan H.W., 2021. "Occupational routine intensity and the costs of job loss: evidence from mass layoffs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    6. Joao Alfredo Galindo da Fonseca & Giovanni Gallipoli & Yaniv Yedid-Levi, 2016. "Revisiting the Relationship Between Unemployment and Wages," Working Papers 2016-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2017. "Human Capital Spillovers and the Geography of Intergenerational Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 208-233, April.
    8. Kondo, Ayako & Naganuma, Saori, 2015. "Inter-industry labor reallocation and task distance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 127-147.
    9. Christian Bredemeier & Falko Juessen & Roland Winkler, 2020. "Fiscal Policy and Occupational Employment Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(6), pages 1527-1563, September.
    10. Blesse, Sebastian & Diegmann, André, 2019. "Police reorganization and crime: Evidence from police station closures," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-044, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    11. Artuç, Erhan & McLaren, John, 2015. "Trade policy and wage inequality: A structural analysis with occupational and sectoral mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 278-294.
    12. Bauer, Anja, 2015. "Reallocation patterns across occupations," IAB Discussion Paper 201526, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    13. Joao Alfredo Galindo da Fonseca & Giovanni Gallipoli & Yaniv Yedid-Levi, 2017. "Match Quality, Contractual Sorting and Wage Cyclicality," Working Papers 2017-076, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    14. Jacob Wong, 2017. "Aggregate Reallocation Shocks, Occupational Employment and Distance," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-09, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    15. Galindo da Fonseca, João Alfredo & Gallipoli, Giovanni & Yedid-Levi, Yaniv, 2020. "Match quality and contractual sorting," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
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    17. Brussevich, Masha, 2018. "Does trade liberalization narrow the gender wage gap? The role of sectoral mobility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 305-333.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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