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Job Mobility in Europe, Japan and the U.S


  • Borghans, Lex

    () (Dept. of Economics and the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA))

  • Golsteyn, Bart H.H.

    () (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)


Evidence about job mobility outside the U.S. is scarce and difficult to compare cross-nationally because of non-uniform data. We document job mobility patterns of college graduates in their first three years in the labor market, using unique uniform data covering 11 European countries and Japan. Using the NLSY, we replicate the information in this survey to compare the results to the U.S. We find that (1) U.S. graduates hold more jobs than European graduates. (2) Contrasting conventional wisdom, job mobility in Japan is only somewhat lower than the European average. (3) There are large differences in job mobility within Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H., 2010. "Job Mobility in Europe, Japan and the U.S," Working Paper Series 11/2010, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2010_011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1981. "Wage Growth and Job Turnover: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    3. Neal, Derek, 1999. "The Complexity of Job Mobility among Young Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 237-261, April.
    4. Thomas J. Kane & Dietmar Harhoff, 1997. "Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the U.S. labor market?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 171-196.
    5. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
    6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1981. "Causes and Consequences of Layoffs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 270-296, April.
    7. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1981. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 21-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 1998. "Job Change Patterns And The Wages Of Young Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 276-286, May.
    9. Boeri, Tito, 1996. "Is Job Turnover Countercyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 603-625, October.
    10. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 1998. "Job-to-Job and Job-to-Nonemployment Turnover by Gender and Education Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 392-443, April.
    11. Parent, Daniel, 2000. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 306-323, April.
    12. Loprest, Pamela J, 1992. "Gender Differences in Wage Growth and Job Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 526-532, May.
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    More about this item


    Job Mobility; Graduates; Europe; Japan; U.S.;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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