Working papers

Occupational Mobility, Occupational Distance & Unemployment Insurance (job market paper)

I study occupational mobility and the effect of unemployment insurance (UI) on mobility using a skill-based distance measure between occupations based on the O*NET Program’s classification of occupational skill requirements. I first show using the skill-based distance and observed job transitions in the U.S. Current Population Survey (CPS) that unemployed workers tend to find jobs with skill requirements that are close to the occupation of their previous job. Also, using the Displaced Worker Supplement of the CPS I show that a larger occupational distance is associated with lower re-employment wages. Exploiting state and time variation in UI generosity during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and the subsequent recovery, I show that more generous UI decreases the occupational distance in observed unemployment to employment transitions, so that unemployed workers end up taking jobs with skill requirements closer to their previous job.
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