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

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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.