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Job Tenure: Does History Matter?


  • Booth, Alison L
  • Francesconi, Marco
  • Garcia-Serrano, Carlos


This paper uses the retrospective work history data from the British Household Panel Survey to examine patterns of job mobility and job tenure for men and women over the twentieth century. British men and women hold an average of five jobs over their lifetimes, and one-half of all lifetime job changes occur in the first ten years. For both men and women, the separation hazard is increasing in the first few months of a job, and declines thereafter. History is found to affect job tenure in two important respects. Individuals entering the labour market earlier in the twentieth century are characterized by different tenure patterns than later cohorts: job tenure is typically longer for earlier cohorts, and there are more pronounced gender differences. Individual history also matters: job accumulation is associated with longer job tenure and, as jobs accumulate, women are more likely to shift into part-time employment while men are more likely to shift into self-employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Booth, Alison L & Francesconi, Marco & Garcia-Serrano, Carlos, 1997. "Job Tenure: Does History Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1531, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1531

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    Cited by:

    1. Caparros, A. & Navarro, M.L., 2005. "Factors Affecting Quits and Layoffs in Spanish Labour Market," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 5(4).
    2. Christine Mayrhuber & Thomas Url, 1999. "Short-time Employment Dominates Labour Market in Austria," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 72(10), pages 693-703, October.
    3. Antonio Caparrós Ruiz & Mª. Lucía Navarro Gómez, 2002. "Factors affecting quits and layoffs in Spain," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/16, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    4. Georg Duernecker, 2010. "Informational Frictions and the Life-Cycle Dynamics of Job Mobility," 2010 Meeting Papers 482, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Mertens, Antje, 1999. "Job stability trends and labor market (re-)entry in West Germany 1984 - 1997," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,60, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    6. Rainer Winkelmann & Klaus Zimmermann, 1998. "Is job stability declining in Germany? Evidence from count data models," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(11), pages 1413-1420.
    7. Sara Serra, 2015. "Temporary contracts’ transitions: the role of training and institutions," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

    More about this item


    Job Mobility; Job Tenure; Layoffs; Quits;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion


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