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Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach

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  • Regula Geel

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper applies Lazear's skill-weights approach (2009) to analyze the specificity of skill combinations of various occupations and its effects on occupational mobility and wages. The results show that the more specific an occupation, the smaller the probability of an occupational change. We also identify clusters of occupations characterized by similar skill combinations and find that employees in specific occupations have a comparatively higher probability of changing occupations within a skill cluster than between skill clusters. Moreover, occupational mobility within a skill cluster results in wage gains, while between clusters it results in wage losses. Therefore, the acquired skill combination and the resulting skill cluster, rather than the occupation per se, crucially determines mobility. Thus, for educational policies, it is more important to study whether a skill cluster is sustainable than an occupation.

Suggested Citation

  • Regula Geel & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0047, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Mar 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0047
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    Cited by:

    1. Mohrenweiser, Jens, 2016. "Recruitment and apprenticeship training," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 23(1), pages 6-24.
    2. Vasilios D. Kosteas, 2020. "Occupational concentration and outcomes for displaced workers," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(4), pages 977-997, August.
    3. Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt & Michael Tiemann, 2013. "Changes in workplace tasks in Germany—evaluating skill and task measures [Wandel der Tätigkeiten am Arbeitsplatz in Deutschland – Analysen von Skill und Task-Maßen]," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 46(3), pages 215-237, September.
    4. James Heckman & Tim Kautz, 2013. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition," Working Papers 2013-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Esther Mirjam Girsberger & Miriam Rinawi & Matthias Krapf, 2018. "Wages and employment: The role of occupational skills," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0153, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    6. Miriam Rinawi & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2014. "Labour market transitions after layoffs: the role of occupational skills," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0103, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Nov 2019.
    7. Robert Wagner & Maximilian Wolf, 2013. "What drives the intention of Bavarian crafts apprentices to change employer or occupation? An empirical study in the crafts sector [Welche Faktoren beeinflussen die Absicht von bayerischen Handwerk," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 46(1), pages 43-60, March.
    8. Nancy Kracke & Malte Reichelt & Basha Vicari, 2018. "Wage Losses Due to Overqualification: The Role of Formal Degrees and Occupational Skills," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 1085-1108, October.
    9. Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2014. "Benefits of Apprenticeship Training and Recent Challenges - Empirical Results and Lessons from Switzerland and Germany," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0097, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    10. Bode, Eckhardt & Gold, Robert, 2018. "Adult training in the digital age," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 12, pages 1-14.
    11. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Why do firms train apprentices? The net cost puzzle reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 631-637, December.
    12. Esther Mirjam Girsberger & Miriam Rinawi & Matthias Krapf, 2018. "Wages and employment: The role of occupational skills," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0153, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    13. Tobias Maier & Caroline Neuber-Pohl & Anke Mönnig & Gerd Zika & Michael Kalinowski, 2017. "Modelling reallocation processes in long-term labour market projections [Modellierung von Anpassungsprozessen in langfristigen Arbeitsmarktprojektionen]," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 50(1), pages 67-90, August.
    14. Warnke, Arne Jonas & Ederer, Peer & Schuller, Philipp, 2012. "Cognitive skills, tasks and job mobility," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62026, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Lisa Simon, 2018. "Shocking Choice: Trade Shocks, Local Labor Markets and Vocational Occupation Choices," ifo Working Paper Series 281, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    16. By Barbara Mueller & Jürg Schweri, 2015. "How specific is apprenticeship training? Evidence from inter-firm and occupational mobility after graduation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1057-1077.
    17. Taelim Choi, 2020. "Agglomeration Effect of Skill-Based Local Labor Pooling: Evidence of South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(8), pages 1-15, April.
    18. Eggenberger, Christian & Rinawi, Miriam & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2018. "Occupational specificity: A new measurement based on training curricula and its effect on labor market outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 97-107.
    19. Kautz, Tim & Heckman, James J. & Diris, Ron & ter Weel, Bas & Borghans, Lex, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," IZA Discussion Papers 8696, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Lerman, Robert I., 2013. "Skill Development in Middle Level Occupations: The Role of Apprenticeship Training," IZA Policy Papers 61, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Kathrin Göggel & Thomas Zwick, 2012. "Heterogeneous Wage Effects of Apprenticeship Training," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 756-779, September.
    22. Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2021. "Insights into the Economic Benefits of VPET for Individuals: Theoretical and Empirical Results for Researchers and Practitioners," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0180, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

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    Keywords

    Skill-weights approach; occupational mobility; apprenticeship training;
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