Volume 9 - Article 7 | Pages 119–162

Employment status mobility from a life-cycle perspective: A sequence analysis of work-histories in the BHPS

By Fernando Muñoz-Bullón, Miguel A. Malo

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Date received:06 Feb 2003
Date published:17 Oct 2003
Word count:9724
Keywords:cohort analysis, employment, employment status mobility, involuntary job separations, optimal matching analysis, work-life history analysis


In this paper we apply optimal matching techniques to individual work-histories in the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), with a two-fold objective. First, to explore the usefulness of this sequence-oriented approach to analyze work-histories.
Second, to analyze the impact of involuntary job separations on life courses. The study covers the whole range of employment statuses, including unemployment and inactivity periods, from the first job held to the year 1993.
Our main findings are the following: (i) mobility in employment status has increased along the twentieth century; (ii) it has become more similar between men and women; (iii) birth cohorts in the second half of the century have especially been affected by involuntary job separations; (iv) in general, involuntary job separations provoke employment status sequences which substantially differ from the typical sequence in each cohort.

Author's Affiliation

Fernando Muñoz-Bullón - Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain [Email]
Miguel A. Malo - Universidad de Salamanca, Spain [Email]

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