DP1711 | A Disaggregate Analysis of the Evolution of Job Tenure in Britain, 1975-93

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There continues to be much debate about whether the widescale adoption of new technologies, and the increasing intensity of competition through globalization of product markets have lead to significant changes in job tenure distributions. Our previous work showed that this was not the case at the level of the economy as a whole. To be precise, we found a slight fall for men, and no change for women. This paper extends that work by taking the individual data and investigating changes in the determinants of job tenure. We first look at the age-tenure profile for different birth cohorts of workers, ranging from those born before 1925 to those born in the 1960s. There appears to be little change in this profile for men; for women, one noticeable feature is the increasing likelihood of holding a long-term job in the 25?35 age range. We then estimate probability models for two different cuts of the tenure distribution on the 200,000 observations in our dataset. We find that, controlling for a set of age, demographic, educational, industrial and occupational characteristics, the proportion of workers in short jobs and longer jobs has about the same path as in the aggregate (unconditional) analysis. Further, allowing for the effect of all these characteristics to vary with time does not uncover any evidence of deterioration for particular groups.