The Costs of Occupational Mobility: An Aggregate Analysis

75 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2016 Last revised: 17 Jul 2016

See all articles by Guido Matias Cortes

Guido Matias Cortes

York University

Giovanni Gallipoli

Vancouver School of Economics, UBC; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

Date Written: May 5, 2016

Abstract

We estimate the costs of occupational mobility and quantify the relative importance of task content as a component of total mobility costs. We use a novel approach based on a model of occupational choice which delivers a gravity equation linking worker flows to occupation characteristics and transition costs. Using data from the Current Population Survey and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles we find that task-specific costs account for no more than 15% of the total transition cost across most occupation pairs. Transition costs vary widely across occupations and, while increasing with the dissimilarity in the mix of tasks performed, are mostly accounted for by task-independent occupation-specific factors. The fraction of transition costs that can be attributed to task-related variables appears fairly stable over the 1994-2013 period.

Keywords: Occupation, mobility, tasks, costs, flows

JEL Classification: C5, D5, D70, J30, J60

Suggested Citation

Cortes, Guido Matias and Gallipoli, Giovanni, The Costs of Occupational Mobility: An Aggregate Analysis (May 5, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2717671 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2717671

Guido Matias Cortes

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Giovanni Gallipoli (Contact Author)

Vancouver School of Economics, UBC ( email )

6000 Iona drive
Vancouver, BC BC V6T 1L4
Canada

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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