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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.

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Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 09-01.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 27 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:09-01
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  1. Hall, Robert E, 1982. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 716-24, September.
  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 S1-28, October.
  3. Kenneth A. Swinnerton & Howard Wial, 1995. "Is job stability declining in the U.S. economy?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 293-304, January.
  4. Francis X. Diebold & David Neumark & Daniel Polsky, 1994. "Job Stability in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521355643.
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