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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Fane Groes & Philipp Kircher & Iourii Manovskii, 2015. "The U-Shapes of Occupational Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 659-692.
    8. Giuseppe Moscarini & Kaj Thomsson, 2008. "Occupational and Job Mobility in the US," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(4), pages 807-836, March.
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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.
    2. 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.
    3. Jacob Wong, 2017. "Aggregate Reallocation Shocks, Occupational Employment and Distance," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-09, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Bauer, Anja, 2015. "Reallocation patterns across occupations," IAB Discussion Paper 201526, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    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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