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A Nonparametric Analysis Of Canadian Employment Patterns



Popular perception holds that employment stability has decreased in recent decades. However, no conclusive evidence exists on secular declines in the length of jobs held. Furthermore, most studies conclude that the proportion of long term jobs has remained remarkably stable over the last few decades. To shed light on this discrepancy we use distribution analysis to systematically track changes in Canadian employment durations over an extended period. This is done in order to reconcile popular perception with recent studies and nest the existing literature in a broader historical context. Using nite mixture decomposition on successive cohorts of workers starting from the 1950s we identify worker types within cohort-based distri-butions. Then, using tests of stochastic dominance, we show that the distribution of employment has indeed changed. The nite mixture decomposition reveals that earlier cohorts were more likely to have longer tenure than later cohorts and that there are shifts in pro-portions between longer and shorter work episodes. Our results also indicate that after the 1960s employment durations declined sharply for men, while for women the results were mixed.

Suggested Citation

  • Luke Ignaczak & Marcel Voia, 2009. "A Nonparametric Analysis Of Canadian Employment Patterns," Carleton Economic Papers 09-01, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:09-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521355643, March.
    2. Jaeger, David A & Stevens, Ann Huff, 1999. "Is Job Stability in the United States Falling? Reconciling Trends in the Current Population Survey and Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 1-28, October.
    3. Andrew Heisz, 2005. "The evolution of job stability in Canada: trends and comparisons with U.S. results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 105-127, February.
    4. Henry S. Farber, 1995. "Are Lifetime Jobs Disappearing? Job Duration in the United States: 1973-1993," NBER Working Papers 5014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hall, Robert E, 1982. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 716-724, September.
    6. Diebold, Francis X & Neumark, David & Polsky, Daniel, 1997. "Job Stability in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 206-233, April.
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    More about this item


    Nonparametrics; Stochastic Dominance; Kolmogorov-Smirnov type statistic; Bootstrap; Heterogeneous Distribution; Cen-sored Distributions; Finite Mixtures; Employment Duration.;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies

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