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What drives employment-unemployment transitions? Evidence from Italian task-based data

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  • Cassandro, Nicola
  • Centra, Marco
  • Esposito, Piero
  • Guarascio, Dario

Abstract

Relying on a unique longitudinal integrated database supplying micro-level information on labor market transitions (concerning the 2011-2017 period) and occupation task characteristics (e.g. routine-task intensity), this paper provides fresh evidence of the determinants of unemployment risk in Italy. We find that workers employed in routine-intensive occupations (measured with the RTI proposed by Acemoglu and Autor, 2011) do not display – on average - higher unemployment risks than the rest of the workforce. However, on distinguishing between cognitive and manual tasks, it turns out that workers employed in occupations entailing a large proportion of routine cognitive tasks (such as workers employed in service occupations as cashiers or call-center operators) are in fact exposed to a relatively higher risk of becoming unemployed. By contrast, a rather lower risk seems to be faced by workers employed in occupations entailing a large proportion of routine-manual tasks. Finally, the distribution of unemployment risk and its relation with routine-task intensity varies significantly across sectors – with higher risk in manufacturing and construction - confirming the importance of industry-level economic, technological and institutional heterogeneities.

Suggested Citation

  • Cassandro, Nicola & Centra, Marco & Esposito, Piero & Guarascio, Dario, 2020. "What drives employment-unemployment transitions? Evidence from Italian task-based data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 563, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:563
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; routine-task; worker-level data;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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