Effects of Labor Market Structure on Job-Shift Patterns

Tuma, N.B. (1983). Effects of Labor Market Structure on Job-Shift Patterns. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-83-011

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A recurring theme in the literature on labor market structure is that different labor markets are characterized by different patterns of job mobility. For example, Doeringer and Piore (1971, p. 40) regard stability of employment as "the most salient feature of the internal labor market." Kerr (1954, pp.95-96) contrasts "structureless" markets that lack "barriers to the mobility of workers" with institutional markets in which entrance, movement and exit are constrained by rules. Spilerman (1977) emphasizes career lines, noting how these may depend not only on personal characteristics but also on the occupation, industry and firm of a person's port of entry.

Not everyone agrees that job-shift patterns reflect differences in labor market structure. Some attribute these differences to various labor market imperfections: search costs (Oi, 1962), specific investments (Becker, 1964), uncertainty (Becker et al., 1977), and so forth. Others (e.g., Heckman and Willis, 1977; Doeringer and Piore, 1971, pp.175-176) associate differences in job-shift patterns with differences in workers: in nonmarket productivity, in preferences for leisure versus money and prestige, and so forth. Even those who attribute differences in job-shift patterns to labor market structure do not agree on the boundaries of labor markets or on the reasons why occupants of certain kinds of jobs have similar job-shift patterns.

Resolution of these disagreements requires an explanationof the forms of labor market structure and of the consequences of these forms for job-shift patterns. It also requires translation of verbal explanations into testable models, data that allow competing explanations to be tested, and a method for organizing the data so that consequences of competing arguments can confront one another. This paper reports research that attempts to begin resolving these disagreements. It is organized as follows. Section I contains definitions of basic terms. Section II reviews several theories of labor market structure and suggests hypotheses about job shifts congruent with these explanations. Section III describes the models, methods and data used in testing these hypotheses. Section IV reports the results....

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:11
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2301

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