Occupation and Industrial Mobility in the United States 1969-93

SSRN Electronic Journal 01/2005; DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.686338


Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we investigate occupational and industrial mobility of individuals over the 1969-80 and 1981-93 periods in the United States. We find that workers changed both occupations and industries more frequently in the later period. For example, occupational mobility for men ranged from 15 to 20 percent per year during the first period and from 20 to 25 percent per year over the second. We also find that, for men, occupational and industrial changes are associated with lower earnings, though this effect has lessened somewhat over time, while for women the results are mixed. Our results also indicate that older and less educated workers are less likely to shift occupation or industry, as are better paid men but not better paid women.

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