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Vertical occupational mobility and its measurement

Author

Listed:
  • Shirley Dex
  • Joanne Lindley

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Kelly Ward

Abstract

This paper describes a number of alternative approaches to devising a vertical occupational scale and compares the outcomes of different scales on calculations of occupational mobility. The paper describes the conceptual issues relevant to calculating occupational mobility and documents the measurement error embedded in the choice of measure, as applied to different data sets. The ranking schemes used include SOC (9) major codes ranked by mean occupational hourly earnings, Hope-Goldthorpe collapsed 36-point scores, a 15-category SOC ranking based on educational qualifications, and a 77 category ranking based on 2-digit SOC90 occupations, wage rates, educational qualifications, training and job tenure. These ranking schemes are applied to data from the 1958 NCDS cohort between the ages of 23 to 33 and 33 to 42, and to 1.25 year transitions in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey panel data. The calculations carried out show that variations in the extent of vertical occupational mobility, both upward and downward, had systematic elements. The extent of mobility was found to vary by the composition of the individuals´ data particularly in terms of lifecourse stages and gender, the number of categories in the ranking scheme, attrition in the data and flows out of employment over the mobility period, and changes in labour market conditions over time. However, the sizes of these effects were very variable.

Suggested Citation

  • Shirley Dex & Joanne Lindley & Kelly Ward, 2007. "Vertical occupational mobility and its measurement," Working Papers 2007006, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2007006
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    File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/content/1/c6/06/69/25/SERP2007006.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/content/1/c6/06/69/25/SERP2007006.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stewart, Mark B, 1983. "Racial Discrimination and Occupational Attainment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(371), pages 521-541, September.
    2. Sicherman, Nachum & Galor, Oded, 1990. "A Theory of Career Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 169-192, February.
    3. Heike Solga, 2001. "Longitudinal Surveys and the Study of Occupational Mobility: Panel and Retrospective Design in Comparison," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 291-309, August.
    4. Alan Manning & Barbara Petrongolo, 2005. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty," CEP Discussion Papers dp0679, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Stephen Nickell, 1982. "The Determinants of Occupational Success in Britain," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 43-53.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nuno Crespo & Nadia Simoes & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2014. "Gender differences in occupational mobility - evidence from Portugal," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 460-481, July.
    2. T Kifle & P Kler & CM Fleming, 2018. "Australian immigrantsâ labour market success: Does occupation matter?," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201805, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour mobility; Occupations; Measurement error; Careers;

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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