DP3531 So Many Rocket Scientists, so Few Marketing Clerks: Occupational Mobility in Times of Rapid Technological Change

Author(s): Nauro F Campos, Aurelijus Dabusinskas
Publication Date: September 2002
Keyword(s): human capital, occupational mobility, transition economies
JEL(s): C41, H53, J23, J62, J63, J64
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Transition Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=3531

The transition from centrally planned to market economy involves a process of massive occupational change that has been largely neglected in the literature. This paper investigates this process using data from the 1995 Estonian Labour Force Survey. We find that between 35 and 50 percent of wage earners changed occupations from 1989 to 1995 and that job tenure is a consistently important determinant of occupational mobility. Our results also show the speed with which the market mechanism takes root: the returns to current and alternative occupations play, over these few years, increasingly important roles in explaining occupational change.