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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Labour market transitions after layoffs: the role of occupational skills
Organization Unit
  • Miriam Rinawi
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title Oxford Economic Papers
Publisher Oxford University Press
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0030-7653
Volume 73
Number 1
Page Range 76 - 97
Date 2021
Abstract Text We study the role of occupational skills for labour market transitions after layoffs. Drawing on Lazear’s skill-weights approach, we develop empirical measures for occupational specificity and the skill distance between occupations to investigate how skills map into job mobility and wages. Our analysis reveals several important insights. First, higher occupational specificity is associated with lower job mobility and a longer period of unemployment. However, it is also associated with higher wages. Workers receive a wage premium of about 9% for re-employment in a one standard deviation more specific occupation. These results suggest a risk–return trade-off to educational investments into more specific skills. Second, the skill distance is negatively associated with wages. Workers moving between occupations with similar skill requirements suffer smaller wage losses than those with more distant moves. Thus, skills appear to be transferable across occupations and to play a pivotal role in the determination of wages.
Related URLs
Digital Object Identifier 10.1093/oep/gpz064
Other Identification Number merlin-id:18811
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